Norwich's Ruddy aims for World Cup spot

Goalkeeper John Ruddy admits his focus will be keeping Norwich in the Barclays Premier League as he looks to win a place in England's World Cup squad.

Norwich's John Ruddy

The 27-year-old has certainly been give plenty of practice behind a Norwich defence which has leaked 33 Barclays Premier League goals this season, including heavy defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool.

However, in recent weeks the Canaries have at least shown some signs of improvement in all-round performances and will look to extend a three-match unbeaten away record when they travel to Everton on Saturday to edge further clear of the battle of survival.

Ruddy missed out on Euro 2012 following a freak finger injury just ahead of the tournament, but hopes things will run much differently this time around as he aims to offer Roy Hodgson experienced back-up to Joe Hart and Ben Foster.

"I would not say it is at the forefront of my mind, as I have a few more pressing (issues) to deal with that the moment with Norwich," Ruddy said.

"Certainly it is an aim, it has to be for any English player in the Premier League is to be to try to break into the World Cup squad, and I am no different.

"The way I have played in the last three years in the Premier League stands me in good stead, as will the way I have been with the squad when I have joined up.

"I have got a little bit of a head start over other people.

"It is obvious Joe Hart and probably Ben Foster will be the first and second choice, if I can get that third spot it will be a dream come true to get a place on that plane to Brazil."

It was at Everton, Ruddy's former club, last season where the England goalkeeper suffered what proved to be a serious thigh injury which would sideline him from late November 2012 until mid-May.

The Norwich stopper, though, feels there have been no lasting impacts.

"It was a tough injury to take, but I always enjoy going back to Everton where I had five years," said Ruddy.

"The surgery went really well and I had a good rehab. It took a little bit longer to come back than I expected, but I am fully back now, have been training well for a year and am hoping we can go up there and take three points."

Norwich lost twice at home over the hectic Christmas schedule, but battled to a positive point in terrible conditions at Crystal Palace on New Year's Day.

Manager Chris Hughton, whose side face an FA Cup third-round replay at Fulham next week, believes there are positive signs within the group.

"Our form away from home has certainly improved from earlier in the season. That had to be the case and it needs to be the case again this weekend, because we're going to a very good side," said Hughton.

"Our level of performance hasn't been that bad - we all know, in terms of the results away from home that they are games that we could have won, but still in this tough division a draw away from home isn't a bad result."

Hughton added: "We want to strive to make our position in the league more comfortable than what it is.

"We are continuing to work as hard as we can to get as many good results as we can."



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