'Sink or swim' for Wolves' John Ruddy
John Ruddy admits it's 'sink or swim' time as he adapts to his 'strange situation' of not being a number one keeper.
The 32-year-old played a starring role in Monday's FA Cup win over Liverpool, producing one of the saves of Wolves' season to tip Xherdan Shaqiri's free kick onto the post.
It was only Ruddy's third appearance of the season – all in the cups – but he remains a key part of the Wolves dressing room.
"It's a role I'm not used to," he said. "It's one I've never been in before. I've been in and out of teams but always consistently been a number one keeper since I joined Norwich and through into last year.
"It's a strange situation for me personally but you either sink or swim. If I don't do it right then I wouldn't be at the club.
"Games have been few and far between this year. I've had to be patient and work hard in training and keep my head down.
"I know I have to be patient but it's also a fantastic club to be at and I'm really pleased to be here.
"I feel part of it, I'm there every day in training pushing Rui (Patricio) as hard as I can.
"We only have a small squad, we're a tight-knit group, we get on really well and work hard in training to make sure we can produce displays like we did on Monday and for the majority of games in the league.
"It's the same as anyone. You look at Leander (Dendoncker) starting at Tottenham, that was his first start since the Leicester game as well and he acquitted himself superbly well.
"That's what we're about, making sure everyone knows their roles when they do come into the team."
Goals from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves gave Wolves a 2-1 victory over the Reds.
It was an impressive team performance against a much-changed Liverpool team.
"We looked very good regardless of the changes they made, we continued our form from the majority of the season," Ruddy added.
"We were hard to break down and limited them to very few opportunities.
"We made a few changes ourselves but if you play for Liverpool you're going to be a good player. They're top of the league and I think they indicated they have good squad depth. We've also shown that as well.
"It's a continuation of the good work we started last year and the things the manager has installed in us.
"It's great when it comes off, not just in the league or the cup."
Ruddy was grinning from ear to ear after his save from Shaqiri – as the referee hadn't given a corner.
"The ref was looking at me and I was giving him a glance to say it was a corner!" Ruddy joked. "He didn't give it.
"I was slightly disappointed he didn't give a corner, but relieved at the same time.
"It was nice to make the save. The lads in front of me were superb.
"They're the game that keepers, I wouldn't say enjoy the most because you're not overly busy, but the concentration levels and communication have to be high, especially with the movement they have.
"We can be proud of limiting their opportunities."
Wolves will either face Stoke City or Shrewsbury Town in the fourth round, with ex-Wolves men Sam Ricketts and Dave Edwards both at the latter.
Ruddy said: "It's two tough games for very different reasons. Stoke going into the Championship probably haven't performed as they wanted to this year.
"Shrewsbury, as we saw last pre-season, a very tough place to go but also this season with Sam Ricketts going in there, it'll be great for him if they got that draw.
"Eddo's a top man and I'm sure he'd be looking forward to it too.
"We'll wait and see and we wish both teams all the best in the replay."