East Anglian Derby Buildup - From The Other Side
As Ipswich Town and Norwich City prepare to do battle at Carrow Road on Sunday, Vital Ipswich contacted our Canary counterparts at Vital Norwich to get their views of the big game, the season so far and the future for both clubs. So, From The Other Side, here is what they had to say:
Vital Ipswich: Nearly time for the big match on Sunday! Feeling confident?
Vital Norwich: I almost always feel confident heading into City games these days, and haven`t seen anything from your boys that has made me feel like we shouldn`t be, but having said that we`ve only got one win in our last seven games (but one loss in six) so we`re not exactly in sparkling form!
Vital Ipswich: What have you made of Norwich's start to life back in the Championship?
Vital Norwich: I think I have been left as surprised as everyone else really. Quite often the teams that gain promotion the previous year continue their good momentum into the new season but I didn`t expect us to be anywhere near the play-off picture.
Vital Ipswich: What do you think the club's ambitions are for the rest of this season? Is promotion a genuine target?
Vital Norwich: Depends who you ask! The club have been very careful in trying not to build expectations and have taken every opportunity to try and dial it down a notch but promotion has to be a genuine target for every club in the Championship. If it isn`t then why bother? The board have said publicly that they set a two-year target to get out of League One which we obviously beat by a year and a three-year plan to get out of the Championship and that this year consolidation is the aim.
Vital Ipswich: I read recently about Norwich selling off some of the club's car parks to a housing association - how is the club coping financially and are you happy with the work of Delia and Co. on the board?
Vital Norwich: Like most clubs we`re obviously in a fair bit of debt. The board tell us that it`s all manageable but there have also been stories of how close the club came to going into administration in the last year or so. David McNally seems to have done a very good job steadying the ship since he came in but Delia has plenty of critics amongst supporters. I have to admit that I`m not usually one of them though, and I have been blasted for it plenty of times!
Vital Ipswich: What do the fans make of Paul Lambert? Is he the best manager you've had since Nigel Worthington left?
Vital Norwich: Oh god by an absolute mile. It`s impossible to stress how bad we were and the position we were in when the lunatics decided that Bryan Gunn was the right man to take the club forward (not even I could defend Delia and co on that one!). Lambert has done an incredible job not just to turn the club around, but to do it so quickly. He hasn`t put too many feet wrong in the transfer market either which, given our apparent limited finances is a very big thing as well.
Vital Ipswich: What's your opinion of the current situation at Ipswich? (Assuming you're remotely interested!)
Vital Norwich: To be perfectly honest I don`t pay too much attention to what`s going on down there other than looking for the results and cheering when you lose (I`ve had a sore throat plenty of times this season)! I think everyone expected you to be flying with the millions Marcus Evans was going to pour in and then bringing in such a high-profile manager but it doesn`t seem to have happened for one reason or another. The crazy thing about the Championship though is it only takes a couple of wins for everything to completely turn around.
Vital Ipswich: Very true! Looking ahead to the game then - who do you think Ipswich fans should be looking out for in the Norwich team? (We need to know whose backsides we'll be kicking, after all...!)
Vital Norwich: Apart from the usual suspects (Grant Holt, Chrissy Martin, Wes Hoolahan) our best player by an absolute mile this season so far has been Andrew Crofts in midfield. He arrived from Brighton in the summer for around £300k and it looks a bargain so far, an excellent, excellent player - anything we do well will go through him, that`s for sure.
Vital Ipswich: 'Never heard of him!!' Any players on the Town side giving you concerns?
Vital Norwich: Not unless you`re going to bring Danny Haynes back for the weekend! I`ve always thought Jason Scotland is a good player, and he could cause Ward and Barnett a few problems.
Vital Ipswich: Let's hope so! What sort of game do you think we're in for on Sunday?
Vital Norwich: Hopefully a nice open game with plenty of attacking football. Norwich/Ipswich games are rarely dull, and I`m hoping this one doesn`t buck that trend.
Vital Ipswich: Hear hear. So... neck on the line - what's your score prediction?
Vital Norwich: The home team have tended to come out on top in recent years and there`s no way you`d expect me to say anything different so I`m going to go for 2-1 to City.
Big thanks to the guys at Vital Norwich for providing their views and a bit of pre-match banter! Here's to what will hopefully be another cracking contest between the two clubs and we wish Norwich the very best of bad luck for Sunday afternoon...!
And don't forget you can check out the Vital Ipswich half of 'From The Other Side' on the Vital Norwich website.
Have your say on this article or any Town topic by joining our club forums here on Vital Ipswich: