Mike Stowell has urged John Ruddy to stay at Wolves and not seek a move for regular football elsewhere.
Goalkeeper Ruddy has been forced to play second fiddle to Rui Patricio for 37 of the 38 games in the Premier League this season. His only other action apart from the 2-0 win against Cardiff on March 2 came in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, where he played all eight ties.
Stowell, who holds the record for goalkeeping appearances for Wolves with 448, acknowledges the frustration Ruddy must endure after playing 45 out of 46 Championship games the season before, following 243 appearances in seven seasons for Norwich prior to that.
But as first-team coach and goalkeeping coach at Leicester, he sees the bigger picture and believes Ruddy needs to stay put and be ready for his chance – because he is in the best place he could be.
Asked if he recommended Ruddy stay put, Stowell, 54, told www.wolvesbite.com: “Absolutely. John has a good rapport with the Wolves fans and where would he go to? Wolves are a top seven team.
“If he’s desperate to play he might drop to a lower team, but he has had success at Wolves and who’s to say he might get more games in the future? I would say he should stay put and enjoy it.”
Stowell added: “It’s difficult to sit on the bench every week if you have been used to playing regularly, as John has, and he has had a really distinguished career. But in this day and age, it’s not just about one goalkeeper.
“You don’t have a senior one and a younger one nowadays, you need three class goalkeepers because you can’t bring keepers in outside of the transfer window if you suffer injuries or lack of form.”
Stowell believes the competition between the goalkeepers can spur them on.
“With goalkeepers, it’s a group thing and an ethos,” he said. “They work hard and there’s a great atmosphere between the senior keepers and you won’t find anyone stabbing anyone in the back – it’s all about encouragement, and you need that.”
Stowell returned to Wolverhampton for an evening with former Wolves team-mate Don Goodman, hosted by his ex-goalkeeping understudy Matt Murray, at the Cleveland Arms at the beginning of the month.
His commitments at Leicester mean he rarely makes the journey from East to West Midlands. But he has happy memories of his 11 years at Molineux, particularly breaking the record held by the great Bert Williams, who appeared 424 times between the sticks for the club and won the League, the FA Cup and 24 full caps for England.
“I’m very proud to have the record, especially considering the man it came from. Bert Williams was a fantastic man and a real gentleman,” said Stowell.
“When I did break it, he was the one who gave me a little memento of the occasion, so it was really special to get that from him.
“The club got me a glass ball with 425 engraved on it, to say how many games I had played for them at the time and it went to 448 in the end.
“I sat with Bert at his house for two or three hours just talking and he was that humble, the kindest man ever.
“He achieved more than I ever achieved and he was a better goalkeeper than me, but he was so pleased for me at the time and I thought that was so nice of him.
“So that was a great memory. These things come back to you and you forget them.”