Preston North End keeper Declan Rudd aims to rediscover a winning feeling at QPR
Goalkeeper Declan Rudd wants Preston to channel their frustration from the West Bromwich Albion defeat into something more positive at Queens Park Rangers.
Rudd was at the centre of the controversial finale to Monday’s 1-0 defeat to the Baggies when he was adjudged to have brought down Kyle Edwards in the 90th minute.
Replays showed that there was no contact between Rudd and Albion substitute Edwards but referee Oliver Langford gave a penalty which Charlie Austin converted.
“It was so frustrating, I jogged off to go and get the ball thinking it either a goalkick or a free-kick for us,” said Rudd.
“The referee didn’t book me, which was telling – if it was a penalty it was a booking.
“I do think the referee was placed in a tough position because he couldn’t see it.
“But if he is not sure, should you really be making a big decision like that which can have such a big effect?
“My frustration is with their player, though.
“Referees have a hard job as it is. Everyone knows that, they are going to get decisions wrong.
“It is hard to always blame the referee – the lad has bought a foul.”
Rudd attempted to argue his case when the penalty was given but did not get any feedback from Mr Langford.
“He didn’t say a word to me,” said the 28-year-old.
“I asked him what he saw and he didn’t say a word.
“Now we have to take that frustration and anger from Monday night and turn it into a positive, use it to help us on Saturday.
“We want to get back to a winning feeling, there is no better feeling than getting back to the dressing room when you have won a game.”
It is no surprise to hear that Rudd is leaning towards being a fan of VAR in light of Monday night.
His view is that VAR would have reversed the decision had it been in use outside the Premier League.
The system has not exactly covered itself in glory this season and many in football would take a different viewpoint to that of Rudd.
However, the North End keeper’s view is understandable.
Said Rudd: “When the ball came through I had to come out. If I didn’t go to ground he could have put the ball underneath me or he could have taken a touch and squared it.
“I had to make myself big to stop that.
“When I realised he was going to get there first I made sure I blocked the goal but pulled my hands away so that I wasn’t going to make contact.
“I think he had already started to go down before he even knocked it past Jordan Storey on the edge of the box.
“He has bought a lottery ticket and won.
“A situation like that gets cleared up with VAR.
“I think the referee was too far away to see anything, the linesman was on the far side so he couldn’t.
“If you go to a camera that would change everything. VAR brings a bit of controversy in the Premier League with the offside decisions.
“But other decisions VAR has been used for have been right.”
North End had held out well against Albion with a makeshift defence.
The fact they had done that against a team who went top of the division, only added to the frustration of the manner of the late penalty.
Having played behind Patrick Bauer and Ben Davies all season, Rudd had Paul Huntington and Jordan Storey doing so last Monday and it could be the case again when they venture to Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon.
Injuries have hit the back four severely, with the ones for Bauer, Davies and Darnell Fisher coming recently
Rudd said: “The saying that it never rains it pours is true in terms of injuries to players at the this club at the moment.
“Unfortunately that is how it goes sometimes – other clubs go through the same things too.
“That is why we have the squad we do, we need players to come in and do a good job.
“Paul Huntington hadn’t been in half our matchday squads this season but stepped in and was solid as a rock the other night.
“As a keeper you try and build partnerships with the centre-halves in front of you, and then you have to start again when injuries hit.
“I can’t praise Hunts enough, he is such a good professional.
“He works hard every day, he trains as if he is playing in a game and that is how it should be.
“If you just sack it off and don’t put the hard work in, when your chance does come you aren’t ready.
“You could see Hunts was ready on Monday – he won everything that came his way. That was the Hunts we all know.”