Foley's impact could be crucial

IPSWICH Town coach Steve Foley knows the importance of Sunday's Coca-Cola Championship derby against Norwich City at Portman Road.But he says that the result will not shape the season for either club.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town coach Steve Foley knows the importance of Sunday's Coca-Cola Championship derby against Norwich City at Portman Road.

But he says that the result will not shape the season for either club.

“The game is one for the fans, and I want to help our lads win on Sunday for our supporters,” said Foley.


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“Managers and coaches come and go, but supporters remain and coming out on top in the East Anglian derby means so much to them.”

Last September Foley helped to plot Town's downfall on Suffolk soil when working as first team coach for the Canaries.

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Having been dismissed from Carrow Road at the end of last season, Foley is now giving his full attention to helping manager Jim Magilton and first team coach Bryan Klug bring the good times back to Portman Road.

Ipswich have not beaten Norwich at home since Alex Mathie (three goals) and Bobby Petta (two) destroyed the old enemy 5-0 in February 1998.

Foley continued: “Whatever happens at the weekend I am convinced that we are on the right road.

“The bigger picture is encouraging and you only have to see the attitude on the training ground for evidence of this.

“We have been much too inconsistent, but there has been gradual improvement all season.

“The base has been laid for a successful future, but it will take time.

“It took manager Nigel Worthington, assistant manager Doug Livermore and myself over three years to turn Norwich into a successful side and one that reached the Premiership.”

Foley says that he has no score to settle with the Canaries. “I was bitterly disappointed when they said I could go, but life goes on,” he said.

“Norwich have a big advantage over us because of their healthier financial position, and they are in a fortunate position where they could afford more than £3 million to sign striker Robert Earnshaw.

“The purchase of 'Ernie' cost more than the whole of our squad, and it is paying off for the Canaries.

“He is someone who will have to be watched as well as last season's Portman Road match winner Darren Huckerby.

“But it is what we do that will count, and we have to bounce back from Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.”

New Norwich manager Peter Grant played for City under Foley, and the latter continued: “There are strong similarities between Peter and Jim.

“Both were competitive midfielders, who wanted to win every game - or five-a-side.

“Peter was always asking questions when he was playing, and gave the impression that he would become a manager one day.”

n Ipswich target Tommy Miller has joined Preston. Miller was a player Town manager Jim Magilton was interested in bringing back to Portman Road

n It's Derby Day on Sunday. What do you think is going to happen? Visit:starsport@evening

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