Deal With The Pressure

John Ruddy says that Wolves have to deal with the pressure of being top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Wolves are four points clear at the top of the Championship after 21 games played and face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Friday evening (7.45pm).


Despite being delighted to be top of the league at this stage, Ruddy admits it is tougher being top rather than in the chasing pack.


“It’s the old thing in football, you always get hunted down. The pressure probably isn’t as intense on the teams below us because they’ve got teams to catch,” he said. 


“We have to deal with that pressure now and we’ve put ourselves in a fantastic situation. 


“As long as we take care of our job, then it doesn’t matter what teams behind us are doing.”


Wolves make the trip to Sheffield on Friday night on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run in which they have won six and drawn one.


Ruddy expects a tough test from Wednesday but says that Wolves are ready for the test.


“It’s going to be really tough game, they’re a really good team and one that has been in the play offs for the last couple of years,” Ruddy continued. 


“They’ve got some very good individual players. They’ve had a bit of a bad run recently off the back of a defeat to Norwich but that’s probably more incentive to come out and put their stamp on the game. 


“We have to be prepared for that and make sure that we continue to do what has got us success so far.”


The 31 year old is full of praise for who the team have been defending despite being the top scorers in the league so far this season.


Ruddy has played every league game for Wolves so far this season and also has the highest number of clean sheets in the Championship - 11 in 21 games.


He says that, from back to front, every player has being doing their job defensively.


“I think in the last two games, I’ve only had one shot to deal with - for me it’s great because the boys in front of me are doing an unbelievable job. It does start from the front - the front lads are defending really well, they’re setting the triggers and making sure that the intensity is there which then filters back throughout the squad. 


He said, “When the lads in front of me are working so hard, and defending so manfully then a clean sheet is a team reward. 


“Keeping a clean sheet, for me, is probably harder than scoring a goal in football - it’s 90 minutes of concentration because it only takes a second to score a goal. 


“We’ve been switched on really well throughout the whole season. To have the most clean sheets so far, 11 in 21 games, that’s a really good run. 


“We were under a little bit of pressure during the Birmingham game - they had a five minute spell in the second half where they were really pressing us high and their fans were getting a lift from that. 


“We had to deal with that but we did - defensively we’ve looked solid all season and going forward, everyone knows the attacking threat we’ve got. 


“We’ve still scored the most goals in the Championship so that speaks for itself.”