John Ruddy has revealed his frustration at being Wolves back-up goalkeeper.
The 33-year-old came in for only his fifth outing of the season in Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie against Manchester United and kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw – his third shutout of the season.
The stalemate at least means Ruddy is almost guaranteed another game in the replay at Old Trafford a week on Tuesday.
But he is resigned to losing his place to first choice Ruo Patricio for Saturday’s return to Premier League action for the visit of Newcastle.
Former Norwich shotstopper Ruddy, who is out of contract in the summer, admits the situation is difficult to take.
“It’s not nice. I’d like to play more,” said Ruddy, who has one full England cap and 445 senior appearances to his name.
“I don’t think any back-up or second-choice keeper in the country would say any different. But it is what it is.
“We have a really tight-knit squad, we work for each other and make sure we’re ready, no matter who’s playing, whether it’s league, cup, Europa League.
“We’re prepared for every game and back the lads to do well whoever’s chosen.”
Ruddy was delighted to have United at bay and praised the team-mates in front of him who restricted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to no shots on target.
“Of course not. The lads have done exceptionally well. They were very organised and limited them to little or no chances at all,” said Ruddy.
“We’re ultimately disappointed we didn’t get through the tie.”
Ruddy was particularly pleased with Conor Coady after the captain’s superb sliding interception deflected Marcus Rashford’s shot on to the top of the bar to prevent what looked like a certain goal in the visitors’ closest chance to scoring.
“That’s what ‘Coads’ brings,” he added. “He reads the game really well – he covered well to block the shot and we had the bit of luck we deserved when it hit the top of the bar.
“We were disappointed at half-time with the performance. It was a bit lacklustre.
“But we came out second half and looked like ourselves again.
“We created chances, obviously ‘Doc’ (Matt Doherty) had the one disallowed and they hit the crossbar after Coads’ block.
“I still think we did enough to win it. There’s another game that we’ll look forward to and get the job done up there hopefully.”
Another defender, Max Kilman, has taken his chance in recent months and the 22-year-old former Futsal player again looked composed and accomplished.
The former Maidenhead stopper has now made 10 first-team appearances and Ruddy believes the youngster has adapted to the demands of first-team football.
“We’ve known what Max has been about for the last year since he stepped up to train with us on a regular basis,” said the ‘keeper.
“He’s a really great lad. He adapts himself really well and wants to learn and improve.
“He’s fitted in really well because that’s the ethos within the whole squad.
“Everyone wants to do well, to improve and support each other. Max is another indication of the dressing room we have.”