Darren's too quick for Town, says Newman
Former Norwich star Rob Newman today offered Ipswich some free advice on keeping up with electric striker Darren Huckerby – get yourself a bike!"If I was playing against him, I'd never get anywhere near him," said Newman as the countdown to Sunday's eagerly-awaited derby clash continued.
Former Norwich star Rob Newman today offered Ipswich some free advice on keeping up with electric striker Darren Huckerby – get yourself a bike!
"If I was playing against him, I'd never get anywhere near him," said Newman as the countdown to Sunday's eagerly-awaited derby clash continued. "I'd have to have a Suzuki bike to catch him!"
Newman, now 40, still living in Norfolk and scouting for West Ham, was part of the last City side to do the derby double over Town – the only time in 52 long, lean years that Norwich have taken the honours in both season's fixtures.
But having watched both sides regularly over the last couple of months – including the Canaries' 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion in midweek and Ipswich's astonishing 6-4 win over Crewe in January – Newman is well-placed to call Sunday's high noon tussle.
The former Southend boss said: "I was speaking to Steve Foley the other day and we were saying that the game on Tuesday night was probably one of the biggest the club has had at Carrow Road for ten or 12 years.
"And what impressed me the most was their resilience. In this division you're not going to get much more of a sterner test physically than West Bromwich Albion, but they all stood up to be counted.
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"The days when people thought: 'Yeh, Norwich are a soft touch!' have gone out of the window. And then you've got a player there in Huckerby who can unlock teams on his own."
Newman is a big fan of the flying City striker. "He's electric, incredible," said Newman. "You look at teams now and with the pace he's got, they're going on to the pitch fearful of Norwich and as long as he stays fit then I think they've got an excellent chance of going up."
Roll the clock back nine years and City's derby double was about the only silver lining to a season that saw the Canaries slump out of the Premiership.
Grabbing the winner in the 2-1 win at Portman Road still figures large in Newman's many City memories.
"I didn't score that many goals, so to score one in a derby game like that was brilliant," said Newman, with Carl Bradshaw grabbing the other.
City's 3-0 win at Carrow Road the following March will go down in history as the moment then Canary chairman Robert Chase thought Norwich were safe from relegation.
The victory convinced him that there was no need to raid the club's threadbare coffers ahead of that year's transfer deadline.
"You can get carried away by derby wins," said Newman. "It's all very well beating Ipswich twice in a season, but if they're the only two games you win and you end up with six points and get relegated, what's it for?"
As for whether the Canaries' can go on and right a few of those wrongs this season, Newman remains optimistic.
He added: "They're in a good position and as long as they don't lose the big games coming up then – as much as you don't want to count your chickens – I think they'll be more or less there."
As for Sunday's clash, the West Ham scout said: "I've seen Ipswich a few times this year; I watched the 6-4 game against Crewe and that was an incredible game of football.
"Both defences were so poor on the day that it could have been 8-6, 10-8. Ipswich aren't bad going forward, but if City are as resilient as they were when I watched them against West Brom and can exploit Huckerby's pace, then I strongly fancy Norwich."