Ruddy | On set-piece downfall and keeping up intensity

John Ruddy acknowledges that Wolves need to focus on defending set-pieces going into Sunday’s final Premier League clash of the season against Manchester United.

The goalkeeper deputised for regular number one Rui Patricio in Wednesday’s loss to Everton, which once again saw Wolves fall to a goal from a corner – the 13th time the team have conceded from a set-piece this season – and Ruddy knows that work needs to be done to eradicate those simple errors.

On going behind after the break

“We’re very disappointed. I thought we dominated after the first 10 minutes, but when they start the second-half like that, with a goal so early on, it makes it very difficult, you end up chasing the game and trying things that you probably shouldn’t be trying, because we’re trying to force the issue.

“But credit to them, they defended very well, but I thought we created very little in the second-half, to be honest.

On conceding from a set-piece once again

“Set-pieces have also been our undoing for much of the season really. That’s 13 now we’ve conceded, so obviously something needs to be addressed there because that can’t happen going into next season and certainly into Sunday as well.

“It’s one of those things. It’s been our undoing again. He’s made a free run, he’s got a good contact on it – a good header, to be fair to him – but we should’ve cut that out and someone should’ve been tighter and stronger, and made sure we got to the ball first.”

On Jimenez’s injury being a turning point for the season

“It’s difficult to label that as the defining moment of our season, but it certainly didn’t help. It was a massive injury to a massive player, but this year, we’ve struggled with a lot of injuries to a lot of good players.

“Raul probably took a lot more out of us as a group than we probably realised at the time, but he’s on the road to recovery now, he looks fantastically sharp in training, so it’s just a question now of do we risk him or do we make sure he’s just right for what’s coming next.”

On keeping the intensity up having achieved safety

“It’s not difficult with this group we’ve got. We’re very competitive, a very intense group, who like to work hard and go out to win every game.

“It’s not been difficult in that sense, but it’s been difficult to fins different ways. I think the manager’s been quite open in the fact that he’s trying different things and wants different solutions for us, because we have to be adaptable in this league.

“It’s been frustrating because we haven’t played as well as we have done over the last couple of years, but with the same token, we’re safe, we were safe a long time ago, and that was the most important thing when we were halfway through the season.”