Norwich v Ipswich: Rivals meet in East Anglian derby with potential promotions at stake

Norwich v Ipswich: Rivals meet in East Anglian derby with potential promotions at stake

5 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Gabriel Sara tries to take the ball around Conor Chaplin when Norwich played Ipswich in December
Ipswich and Norwich drew 2-2 when they last met in the league in December

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna hopes to give his side’s supporters “another fantastic day” in the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road on Saturday.

They travel to Norwich top of the Championship with six games remaining, having not won in Norfolk since 2006.

“The players have given the supporters so many nights to enjoy over the past couple of years, so many memories,” McKenna told BBC Radio Suffolk.

“We know that winning away to our local rivals would be another fantastic day.”

With six games remaining, victory would take Ipswich one step closer to a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

But they are not only playing against 18 years of history on Saturday but have to topple Norwich’s excellent recent home form, the third-best in the Championship, having not lost on home soil since November.

“We have to take advantage of being at home,” Norwich manager David Wagner told BBC Radio Norfolk.

“We’re at home and we have to make sure we have this energy in the stands and on the pitch as well and if we do then we have everything to make it very uncomfortable for our opponent.”

‘The weeks before doesn’t count in a derby’

Norwich have promotion hopes of their own and will start the day in the final play-off place with a four-point cushion ahead of Coventry.

“It makes it even more exciting because you want to test yourself against the best and after 40 games they are the best so it makes even more interesting and probably counts more for us to cause the league leaders some problems,” Wagner said.

“Our home record is top class but what happened in the weeks before doesn’t really count in a derby. You have to be focussed on yourself, calm in your head and be super competitive, fight for every inch and this is what we will do.”

David Wagner greets Kieran McKenna on the touchline when Norwich played Ipswich in December
Ipswich are currently top of the Championship while Norwich are four points clear in the play-off places

Norwich were beaten at Leicester on Easter Monday, breaking a three-game winning streak, while Ipswich travel north having reeled off three wins in a row.

“We know it’s another big game,” said McKenna. “We’ve had so many big games and after this one we’ve got more to come.

“Of course it’s a derby game, it’s special for the supporters and what’s special for the supporters is special for the players because that connection is so strong and we’ll be full of determination to make our supporters proud.

“But it’s just one more game in a fantastic season full of big experiences and challenges. What we’ve done so far is taken those challenges head on and we’ll look to do the same again on Saturday.

“These are occasions to relish. Especially how we go into the game and the trajectory of the clubs in recent times. In my experience, going away from home and getting a result is some of the best wins I’ve been part of. And we’ll endeavour to make Saturday another one of those.”

This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68740901