sport

Ruddy: Survival is my priority

John Ruddy says that securing Norwich City's Premier League status is more important to him that making England's World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old has been ever-present in the league this season and he was included as one of four goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's 30-man England squad for the forthcoming friendly against Denmark.

His side, the Canaries, sit four points above the relegation zone after an impressive 1-0 win over Tottenham ended a run of four games without victory, but they remain very much in a fight for survival.

Although Ruddy is still eager to make the plan to Brazil this summer, he admits that avoiding relegation is his main target this season.

When asked what he would prefer, Ruddy told the Independent: "Staying up in the Premier League, without a doubt.

"People might think that's a bit strange but that's my bread and butter, that's what provides me and my family with a life, that's what I enjoy doing week in, week out.

"The World Cup's a fantastic opportunity but that's every four years. Getting into the Premier League got me into the England squad so it can be done, and hopefully I can do both come the end of the season."

Only Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham have kept more top-flight clean sheets than Norwich this season and Ruddy believes that it is a reflection of their progress.

"I think that speaks volumes, not just for myself but us as a defensive unit," he said.

"It shows how far we've come on this season. If you take a couple of games out, the Liverpools, Man City, Arsenal, I think our goals-to-game ratio conceded would be very good."

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster is one of those competing with Ruddy for a place in Brazil, but the Norwich stopper thinks that playing in the Premier League should give him an advantage.

"I think if you are playing in the top league in England, you probably should [have an edge]," he said.

"That's not detracting anything from Fraser, he's a top-quality goalkeeper. The record he's just set speaks for itself. I don't care what level you're playing at, that's a fantastic achievement."