Peter Grant's view on the derby
Peter Grant gives Dave Cuffley his view on Sunday's East Anglian DerbyMANAGERS often try to defuse the tension before a big local derby by talking about it being just another game.
Peter Grant gives Dave Cuffley his view on Sunday's East Anglian Derby
MANAGERS often try to defuse the tension before a big local derby by talking about it being just another game.
But as we head for Portman Road on Sunday to face Ipswich Town, I know exactly how much the fixture means to everyone associated with Norwich City.
Local pride is a big issue with supporters of both clubs and I'm not going to try to kid anybody that it isn't. There is no getting away from it.
It matters just as much to the players, too. Every player wants to play in the local derby and wants to win against their biggest rivals.
It is a massive three points, and I'm not going to be kidding anyone by trying to dilute that terrific local pride.
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Whenever Norwich and Ipswich meet, it's a fantastic occasion. I know all about the rivalry because I played in the game twice in the 1997-98 season - one successful, the other one unsuccessful.
In the home game we won 2-1 and Darren Eadie scored one of the goals, but though the team played well I felt I played poorly, so my pride was still hurt.
In the return match at Ipswich, I thought I had a better game, but we lost 5-0. To be fair, Ipswich had a very good side and they played extremely well. It seemed as if every time they went forward they scored. Alex Mathie, a fellow Scot, scored a hat-trick in the first half and Kieron Dyer was in his pomp.
Derby results go like that sometimes. Current form doesn't count for too much. There's a lot of passion in these games and it will be the players with cool heads who do their jobs properly who will come out on top.
We are being labelled the form team but I think over the past two or three weeks it's been more a case of good results than good form.
At West Brom on Saturday, we gave a much better performance than of late. We controlled a big part of the game, created more chances and looked as if we knew our jobs.
But anyone who saw us in the previous two games at home to Colchester and Sunderland wouldn't say we were in great form.
Getting off to a good start is important in every game, never more so than on Sunday.
I would prefer the game to kick off at three o'clock but our preparation and training will be exactly the same.
There's no time to warm yourself up once the game starts. The warm-up comes before the game and you've got to be ready from the kick-off.
It can be very difficult to claw back a deficit, the longer a game goes on, so I want us to play on the front foot from the start and not take a single backward step.
The Ipswich team will be totally fired up after their disappointing result - though not performance - against Sheffield Wednesday last week.
It's a difficult place to go as I know from my previous visits.