Jim Magilton's view on the derby

DERBY day is all about the supporters, with local pride and bragging rights at stake, but from a personal point of view I am only concerned with getting the win and the three points that will get us back on track after a spell of three games that earned us just one point.

JIM Magilton talks to Mel Henderson about Sunday's East Anglian Derby

DERBY day is all about the supporters, with local pride and bragging rights at stake, but from a personal point of view I am only concerned with getting the win and the three points that will get us back on track after a spell of three games that earned us just one point.

It's not that a derby game isn't important to me as a manager, but I want Ipswich to win every game. They are all big games when you are a manager. I cannot afford to say that this game is more important than any other, although I know what it means to the fans and we'll be doing our utmost to get the right result for them.

It's more a case of expecting, rather than just wanting, us to win our home games. We have already lost four this season and that's four too many for my liking, and because we are going into this one on the back of a defeat by Sheffield Wednesday in front of our own fans it means there is a little bit more pressure on us to win on Sunday.

You tend to make your own pressure in this game, however, because if we had taken our chances on Saturday we could have comfortably won the game against Wednesday.

The one thing I will demand on Sunday is a positive reaction from my players in trying to bounce back from last week's defeat. It was a massive disappointment to lose that one and the fact that Norwich are our opponents is certain to add a bit more flavour to the pot.

Most Read

I had plenty of experience of this fixture as a player but my approach this Sunday will be completely different. As a player you are a bit selfish and self-centred in that you concentrate on your own preparation and you get your mind set accordingly. It's different being a manager because you have responsibility for all the players, so instead of just worrying about yourself you concern yourself with everyone else - and you are also much more aware of the thousands of supporters who are every bit as desperate for a win and will react accordingly.

My job on Sunday will be to concentrate on the 16 players in my squad, but at the back of my mind I will be thinking what this game means to the fans and I would love to give them the home win they have been waiting a long time to see in this fixture.

It is a strange coincidence that both clubs have managers for whom this is a first East Anglian derby, yet both myself and Peter Grant know all about it from our playing days.

Peter will be just as desperate as I am to get the win and the three points, while his players will be every bit as determined as my lads to gain the upper hand. It would be that way no matter who we were playing - Ipswich want to reverse their recent run and win, while Norwich are obviously going to be keen to keep things going after two wins and two clean sheets.

I suppose Peter and I are similar types, both passionate about the game and our own teams, and not afraid to voice our opinions from the touchline. I remember seeing him play for Celtic and that quality shone through more than anything else. He was always a 100 per cent player and he expects nothing less than maximum effort from those he is managing now.

Peter was a big help to me earlier in the season when he was still at West Ham as assistant manager. I wanted to take Mark Noble on loan and when I asked Peter's opinion he didn't hesitate to tell me 'Go get him'. Mark was a big asset to this club and when I met Peter a couple of weeks later at a game I made sure I said a big thank-you.

Anything can happen in a derby game and you only have to recall the dramatic events that have occurred, both at Portman Road and Carrow Road, in recent years for proof of this. So many factors can prove decisive - which team settles the quickest, who gets the breaks, who defends the best and who takes their chances if and when they come along.

We have a huge responsibility to ourselves and our fans - not forgetting all those people watching live on the box - to give a good account of ourselves. Most of all, though, we want to win and everything we do between now and Sunday will be geared towards getting the right result.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter