Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

‘After the game I had a baby named after me’ - Sky Sports pundit on East Anglian derby high stakes

PUBLISHED: 12:18 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:40 19 October 2017

Christophe Berra red card tilted the 2015 Championship play-off semi-final, second leg in Norwich City's favour: Picture: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.

Christophe Berra red card tilted the 2015 Championship play-off semi-final, second leg in Norwich City's favour: Picture: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Respected Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham insists cool heads will decide Sunday’s East Anglian Championship derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City.

Higginbotham will be at Portman Road for the televised clash and knows what is at stake, after a playing career that took in ferocious derby tussles for Sunderland, Southampton and Derby.

“The atmosphere is completely different,” he said. “I remember when I was at Sunderland and we played Newcastle United and we drew 1-1 and I scored. After the game the physio said to me he had just had a call from a mate who said he had named his newborn child after me; obviously the Danny, not the Higginbotham. That is just how intense it is.

“My time at Sunderland I enjoyed but I could have done better, but people look on me very fondly up there because I scored against Newcastle and against Middlesbrough. A player can make a real name for themselves and put themselves down in history. It is that important.

“The one thing you do find, and I have found it in games I played in, that derbies are quite often decided by a mistake from an individual that you wouldn’t expect to see.

“It is all about the mentality on the pitch. Some players can get too embroiled in the occasion and go out with the wrong mentality. I hate using clichés but you have to play the game not the occasion.

“Norwich is unbeaten in the last eight meetings, Ipswich have lost six of the last eight this season but I don’t think that matters going into a derby. It is all about how much you can treat it as a normal game.”

MORE: Have your say on the Pinkun forum

Danny Higginbotham started his career at Manchester United and played in some fierce derbies around the country. Picture: PA Danny Higginbotham started his career at Manchester United and played in some fierce derbies around the country. Picture: PA

Higginbotham insists Sunday’s high noon showdown will test Daniel Farke and Mick McCarthy, along with their players.

“The one thing I found in these type of games is the manager’s biggest role is to try and calm lads down, because there will be some who get over-excited and that can lead to an early red card or a mistake,” he said, “There is no getting away from it 100pc but you try to take that element away. Don’t try to be overly-physical or clever.

“This season I have covered the Sheffield derby, Sheffield Wednesday versus Leeds, Derby versus Forest, and each manager I have spoken to before the game to ask if they had done anything different, they all replied, ‘No. We know the magnitude of the game, how much it means to the supporters and the passion, we don’t need to explain that.’

“With the two clubs only 40 miles apart the rivalry is huge.

“I know a few in this industry who I work with are supporters and they rave about it. They can’t wait for the game.

“I played in that Newcastle derby but one of my very last games as a footballer was Chester versus Wrexham and the feeling was just as intense.”

Related articles

Prosecutors have discontinued the case against a 17-year-old boy charged in connection with a stabbing in Ipswich.

Calls have been made for leaders to reverse their decision to call off a family fun day in Ipswich following a violent crime wave that led to the loss of a young life.

Motorists faced long delays due to a broken down vehicle on the A14 this morning.

Sun-lovers will have plenty to smile as we move into the final week of June – with Suffolk and north Essex set to be hit by a sweltering heatwave.

Police were called to a Suffolk village this morning following reports of cows blocking a road.

Photographers this week seized the chance to get out on the water as we set them the challenge of sedning us their best H2O pictures.

Increasing numbers of local authorities are making money from charging to collect garden waste, new figures show.

The number of Norfolk and Suffolk police vehicles damaged by potholes has increased more than three fold in one year – with costs rising by 150%.

Around 500 people turned out to enjoy a day of Bangladeshi culture and food at the seventh annual Suffolk Pita Festival in Ipswich.

Efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and how to prevent it are being redoubled in Suffolk as the number of new diagnoses rises by 5% year on year.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24