Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy questioned the consistency of refereeing in the Premier League after his side were on the wrong end of a controversial penalty decision in their 1-1 draw with Stoke on Sunday.
Leon Barnett was shown a red card for bringing Stoke striker Jonathan Walters down but the foul appeared to have occurred outside of the penalty area. Ruddy went on to save the spot-kick but the Canaries, down to ten men, conceded a late equaliser.
"I haven’t seen it again, but my initial thought was it was outside the box and the red card is harsh," Ruddy told reporters after the game.
"We saw it last week with Kieran Richardson, who got a yellow. Again it seems we’re talking about the consistency of referees, and that shouldn’t be the case, but he’s made a decision."
The former Everton man, who put in an excellent performance to keep Paul Lambert's side in front until stoppage time, admitted that saving the penalty was a good feeling.
"Yeah, I think it means a lot, you know, to myself and the rest of the lads, especially with us going down to ten men," he confirmed.
"And you could see how much it meant to the fans as well.
"They come out in their thousands every other week, so it’s really nice to give them something back, and it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t hold on for the win."
And Ruddy feels that Norwich displayed great character in their defensive display following the red card setback.
"I think it sums us up," said the 24-year-old. "We’ve got a very solid unit of players here who work hard for each other and who want to do the best for each other and the management staff.
"Unfortunately today we slipped up at the end, but any other game, we see that game out and get a valuable victory.
"But it’s a good point. It’s important not to lose games in this league and we’ve got a good point today so we look forward to next week now."
Ruddy was keen to highlight the continuity in team spirit that has powered the Canaries’ recent surge through the divisions.
“Yeah, you look at it last year, I think we brought in six or seven players, and this year we’ve brought eight, and the team spirit is as strong as ever,” he said.
“That’s credit to us as men and to the management for the way they handle us.
“If we can keep that together throughout the season we’ll be fine.”
Norwich must now prepare for a tough away trip to Chelsea next week.