Ipswich Town v Norwich City: Mick McCarthy reminds fans of their ‘big role’ at Portman Road

Town boss Mick McCarthy shakes hands with Norwich manager Alex Neil at the end of the 1-1 draw betwe

Town boss Mick McCarthy shakes hands with Norwich manager Alex Neil at the end of the 1-1 draw between Ipswich and Norwich in August 2016. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Fans have a big role to play in the “massive” East Anglian derby this weekend – and must cheer on the Blues all the way to victory.

Alan Quinn scores against Norwich City at Portman Road in September 2009. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Alan Quinn scores against Norwich City at Portman Road in September 2009. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

That’s the message today from Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy as the town gears up for the huge all-ticket Championship clash against rivals Norwich City at Portman Road on Sunday (12 noon kick-off, live on Sky Sports).

Although the match has not sold out, club officials are expecting the attendance to break last season’s gate of 23,350 for the 1-1 draw. The Canaries have already sold out their allocation of tickets.

There appears to be a higher-than-usual buzz surrounding this season’s home renewal, as Town look for their first win in the fixture since 2009.

Earlier this week, City striker Nelson Oliveira caused a Twitter storm by claiming Norwich is the “better club” with the “better players”.

Town captain Luke Chambers hit back emphatically, saying: “They’re obviously not very well educated... I think there’s three stars above the Ipswich crest on our shirt.”

Ipswich Town v Norwich City: Betting - Punters backing a Blues win.

And in his matchday programme notes, McCarthy will ask the bumper crowd to get behind the Blues.

Portman Road during the 1-1 draw between Ipswich and Norwich in August 2016. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Portman Road during the 1-1 draw between Ipswich and Norwich in August 2016. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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It says: “It’s a massive game and a great occasion to be involved in.

“Supporters have got a big part to play. We need that vocal support to get right behind us. It really gives the players a lift. It gives us all a lift. It can be the difference.”

Steve Doe, caretaker chair of Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, echoed the call for fans to be loud and supportive, but in the “right spirit”. Predicting a goalless draw, he said: “I always look forward to it, but there is more riding on it. We have not had a lot to shout about since the playoffs (in 2015). Like then, Norwich are hitting form. It will be a tough game. We will have to be at our best. But I think Chambers hit the nail on the head. We are the bigger club. We have got history on our side.”

‘We’re looking forward to getting a win against these’ - Town skipper Chambers on derby day.

Police commander for the match Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes said: “We will not tolerate mindless anti-social behaviour, violence or racist chanting.”

Turnstiles and stadium bars open at 10.30am on Sunday. All bags will be searched, some police will be on horseback, and a police helicopter will be in operation.

Tickets will be on sale at www.itfcdirect.com until kick-off and at Planet Blue until 10.30am on matchday only to fans who have a Portman Road purchase history.

Grant Ward gets a hug from David McGoldrick after scoring. Picture: PAGEPIX

Grant Ward gets a hug from David McGoldrick after scoring. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

David McGoldrick has been in in fine form for Town this season. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

David McGoldrick has been in in fine form for Town this season. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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