Ipswich Town fans urged to visit pubs and roar Blues to victory against Norwich City in Championship play-offs

Fans at the Ipswich Town v Norwich game.

Fans at the Ipswich Town v Norwich game. - Credit: Archant

We’ve planted the seeds of doubt in Norwich – now it’s time for the Tractor Boys to play like Barcelona and reap the harvest!

That‘s the rallying cry from the town today as Ipswich face their arch rivals tomorrow in what is being described as the biggest East Anglian derby in history.

Pubs across the town are showing the crucial game on big screens and people have been urged to get out and support their local.

Ipswich and Norwich drew 1-1 at Portman Road last Saturday and whoever wins at Carrow Road will book their place in the Wembley play-off final.

Premier League promotion could give a huge £150 million boost to the local economy.

It comes the day after Ipswich Town unveiled their new kit for next season, with the away shirt bearing a striking resemblance to the traditional colours worn by Lionel Messi and other Barcelona stars.

Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said: “I doubt there’s ever been an Old Farm derby with so much at stake.

“Norwich are the bookies’ favourites but they’ll be a bit nervous. They expected to win last Saturday so we’ve planted the seeds of doubt. Now for the Tractor Boys to reap the harvest!”

She said every Town fan believes Ipswich can win, saying: “We all have a different dream as to how that winning goal will be scored and how we’d celebrate afterwards. I bet the same is true for every player too!”

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The match is being shown on live TV but supporters are being encouraged to go down to their local pub to watch it.

Mrs Edwards said: “This game shows just how important the football economy is to Ipswich. The pubs will be packed with fans wanting to see the game with their mates – that’s a real bonus for the hard-working licensees as well as our fantastic local breweries, who’ll be seeing a big uptick in trade.”

Nathaniel Coughlan, general manager of Isaacs on the Quay, said he expected “several hundred” fans through the doors – but warned visitors to keep their emotions in check to keep children safe.

The Waterfront venue opens at 7am for breakfast and opens its bars at 10am.

Mr Coughlan said: “These opportunities to support the local club don’t come around very often. It is a very big day but we are urging everyone to contain their emotions. A lot is on the line but win or lose we want everyone to enjoy the game as there will be children in various venues watching the game.

“We don’t want to alienate anyone – it is a community day and we should look out for each other.”

Ruth Carley, general manager of The Golf Hotel in Foxhall Road, which opens at 11.30am tomorrow, said the pub was “packed” for the first leg last Saturday.

She said: “I think it is going to be absolutely packed. It was brilliant last Saturday – there were around 150 people.

“Occasions like these are extremely important for pubs as it helps sales and future sales.

“We plan for it, getting the right number of staff and stock, and I think people should go out to pubs and have a drink as you can’t beat the atmosphere.”

Kirsten Cook, manager of town centre pub The Cock and Pye, which is opening at 10am tomorrow, said: “We are hoping for a good turnout. We are showing the game on a big screen and we hope there will be will be a great atmosphere.

“If we get to the Premier League more people will be coming to town, which will be better for pubs and shops.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said Premier League promotion would be “great news” for the town.

He said: “Home games next year against Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and others would bring visitors to the town who will spend time in our shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels.

“It would also ensure we can showcase what Ipswich and Suffolk have to offer to tourists all year round.

“The business community across Suffolk is right behind the team.”

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