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Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Norwich City
SkyBet League One
Sunday, 2nd September 2018 Kick-off 12:00
Losing to Ipswich When They Are Bottom of the Table Would Be Unforgivable - Notes for Norwich City
Friday, 31st Aug 2018 12:15 by HarryFromBath

HarryFromBath assesses the mood in the opposition camp ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby at Portman Road by delving into their forums.

“How have we fallen this far in a year and a half?”, “We had a little moment in the sun and now it’s our turn to struggle a bit”, “It was palatable to accept that we couldn’t compete with Premier League money. The uncomfortable truth is that this also now looks to be the case in the second tier as well.”

The Canaries head down the A140 lying 18th in the table after five games with their solitary league success coming from last Wednesday week’s unconvincing win over Preston. Saturday’s chastening 3-0 home loss to Leeds left many fans licking their wounds and curtailed expectations for the season.

“We look like the dreaded mediocre mid-table Championship side we all fear and have ridiculed our local rivals about for years”, “We lack ambition and accept that playing well for 20 minutes against decent teams is good enough”, “Lose to Ipswich and the next home game could be poisonous.”

“We have a decent mid-table squad. If you just align your expectations to this you might enjoy the football if not the results”, “We are definitely playing better than our results are reflecting at the minute”, “I admire the blind optimism of some fans. I only wish I could ignore all that is plain to see.”

“We’re a long way from the balanced, tactically-disciplined, occasionally dangerous side we intend to be”, “We look better going forward but ropey as hell when defending”, “Anyone out there thinking that we won’t be relegated needs to think about the fact that we have only four wins in 21 games.”

“We won’t go down this season but we are heading inexorably downward”, “This team will be good enough to avoid relegation but will probably continue our transition into a mid-table Championship side”, “There will probably be half-a-dozen teams poorer than us this season. At least I hope so.”

Daniel Farke

“I was prepared to give Daniel Farke time, but I’m now moving to the other side. I’m becoming less convinced that he will eventually come good”, “I’ve had enough of this project and feel that the tide is turning quickly now”, “I wanted the whole Farke thing to work but it hasn’t, has it?”, “We all did.”

The 41-year-old managed Borussia Dortmund II for two years before taking his first managerial role in English football at Carrow Road in May 2017. His possession-based high-pressing style of playing the game has been influenced by former Dortmund and now Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.

“Is anyone else thinking Farke is another busted flush?”, “Tactically Farke appears totally out of his depth.” Many Canaries remain unconvinced. “I don’t think he is getting the best from what he has not because he’s a poor coach, but more because his style of play is just far too easy to combat.”

“I don’t know how Farke’s football is supposed to work”, “I sometimes think he sees it as a game of chess where you wait for an opponent to make a mistake”, “I have had enough of his football. His possession-based style was simply never going to be effective at this level and so it has proved.”

Some fans sympathise with him trying to develop a model of playing when the club have sold several important players. “I do feel slightly sorry for him in that he has been given a brief, but hasn’t been given the players to meet that brief. He has to choose between his playing style and getting results.”

A Question of Money

“Ultimately it feels almost irrelevant who the manager is. Money talks in football today more than ever. We have none, and at the moment it looks like we aren’t going to have any for a long time”, “Our lack of progress is driven by our financial situation. If we are to progress we need to invest.”

The club sold James Maddison, Marley Watkins and Josh Murphy this summer to help balance their books. The last three transfer windows have seen talented players depart to address the legacy of overpaid under-performers acquired in the club’s unsuccessful bid to remain in the Premier League.

Canaries are concerned about the club’s intention to operate a “self-funding model” going forward in the Championship. “Norwich City is being sacrificed on the owners’ mistaken belief that you can run a successful club in this division with no absolutely outside investment. It will all end in tears.”

“Money doesn’t guarantee success. You need the right mixture, but it sure as hell helps”, “We have just dismantled our squad, sold £60 million worth of players and implemented a new ideology. The board isn’t going anywhere”, “If others invest and we don’t, we will only end up going backwards.”

One-Paced Slow Passing Football

“We were told that we are building an identity and style of football but we spend too much time playing tippy-tappy football at the back. Opponents wait for us to turn over possession before they engage as a pack, moving quickly swiftly and efficiently. We have been completely worked out.”

“The endless slow passing at the back is mind-numbing. It’s too one-paced.” Canaries have criticised a lack of teamwork, cohesion, tempo and aggression. “We need to be far more aggressive but our manager wants calm, calculated control”, “We seem to be incapable of seeing out games very well.”

“We attack and defend in isolation. Opponents hunt in packs. Our play is chaotic and often erratic.” A lack of confidence has been a regular occurring theme. “We are spineless, with a keeper lacking confidence and central defenders and holding midfielders run ragged trying to cover for full-backs.”

KrulPintoHanleyKloseLewisTrybullThompsonLeitnerPukkiHernandezRhodes

“Farke wants a three-man midfield which suits our possession-based philosophy.” The starting XI (above) for Saturday’s defeat to Leeds was set out in their familiar 4-1-4-1 shape. One change from the side which beat Preston was the inclusion of Louis Thompson for Ben Marshall on the right wing.

“It sounds like we need another goalkeeper. We have had a few mistakes already that have resulted in goals.” Canaries have huge doubts about the error-prone Tim Krul. Many want him to be replaced by Northern Ireland international stalwart Michael McGovern who has played in Carabao Cup ties.

“We have a real problem at right-back.” Fans have criticised the “woeful lack of organisation” at the back, with centre-halves Grant Hanley and Timm Klose error-prone and being dominated in games. Jamal Lewis is a decent attacking left-back, but right-back Ivo Pinto’s defending is a source of alarm.

“We have been consistently poor at defending this season”, “We are shipping just over two goals per game. I have never seen such a run of defensive ineptitude in my time following City”, “We could sell them all and start again but I wouldn’t bet against the same defensive problems still being evident.”

“We’re missing a battling midfielder who will bust a gut to cover the field”, “We don’t defend well and our midfield pairing of Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner aren’t as good as a lot of people think”, “Trybull and Leitner are two of the least physical midfielders I have ever seen in the Championship.”

“We lack a midfield who can exert any form of control over a game”, “Farke needs to work out what he’s doing in the holding midfield role if he’s going to persevere with a back four”, “A midfield of Alexander Tettey, Trybull and Leitner will be bypassed by opponents who push forward at pace.”

One huge issue is the team’s lack of balance on the right flank. Jamal Lewis and Onel Hernandez are an effective left-sided pair but Ivo Pinto lacks discipline defensively while Teemu Pukki is a striker by inclination. Emiliano Buendia is a lively alternative but he is also seen as a more natural number 10.

“We lack balance again. We have a winger on the left and four playing down the centre including Teemu Pukki, who should be on the right”, “I’m still trying to work out who the hell is meant to be playing on the right. We seem to be relying on Ivo Pinto to push up. It’s a lop-sided formation.”

“We don’t need another striker. We are creating and scoring.” Fans have been happy with the wider attacking play and finishing of Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki. Dennis Srbeny is a bench option but his brace in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win at Cardiff was a widely welcomed return to goalscoring form.

Three at the Back

“We need to go back to playing with three centre-backs, becoming hard to beat and nicking the odd goal”, “I don’t understand why we’re not playing a wing-back system. We don’t have any proper full-backs at the club”, “Farke has said that using wing-backs impacts too heavily on our attacking play.”

KrulHanleyZimmermannKloseBuendiaTrybullTetteyLewisPukkiHernandezRhodes

Farke switched formation (above) for the conclusion of their win over Preston, a change welcomed by many fans. “We looked really solid last year with three at the back, but Farke can’t balance that system with any kind of attacking threat”, “It helped us when we were defensively frail last season.”

Norwich 0 – 3 Leeds

“Well, that was depressing”. “Bearing in mind that Leeds were our feeder club in the not too distant past it’s a bit disappointing”, “It was so easy for Leeds today, and a large part of that was a total lack of steel, leadership and imagination in the spine of the team”, “Frustrating, as we started so well.”

The Canaries started brightly but Mateusz Klich put Leeds ahead on 21, reacting quickly after Krul had parried Ezgjan Alioski's header. Alioski then doubled United’s lead on 26 beating Krul at his near post. Pablo Hernandez finally cut in from the left on 67 to curl a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.

“It’s a shame you don’t get points for controlling periods of the game, isn’t it?”, “When we went 2-0 down we never looked like scoring despite the fact that we were quite dangerous from set pieces”, “Once we fell behind to Leeds’ first meaningful attack, there was only ever one team going to win.”

“I’m beginning to think that this was a pivotal result for Farke. The clinical way a decent Leeds team carved through our powder-puff team exposed all of his weaknesses”, “Leeds had a simple system, defend well and break quickly. Watching that, I didn’t know for the life of me what our system was.”

Norwich 2 – 0 Preston

“Wow, we were awful but I’m delighted”, “This has been appalling to watch, but fair play for two top finishes by Pukki and Tettey”, “Two poor teams playing out a poor game. We were slow, and passing sideways. Too little happened in midfield”, “The first 80 minutes were a miracle cure for insomnia.”

“Three badly needed points.” City gained their first league win victory of the season, scoring two late goals to win what was a drab display. Teemu Pukki drilling the ball past Preston keeper Declan Rudd on 80 minutes and Alexander Tettey fired a great half-volley into the top corner seven minutes later.

“We found a bit of urgency and spirit but why did it take us 80 minutes?”, “We shouldn’t let the last 10 minutes blind us to the fact that the first 80 were turgid relegation fodder. Had Preston had a go at us we were there for the taking. Play like that and we will get stuffed by Leeds on Saturday.”

KrulPintoHanleyKloseLewisTetteyLeitnerMarshallPukkiHernandezRhodes

“I’m not sure I understand the plan on the right flank. Marshall is being asked to tuck in and let Pinto provide the width.” Canaries weren’t convinced when the line-up (above) was announced and many felt that the switch to a back three contributed to their urgency and industry later on in the game.”

Cardiff 1 – 3 Norwich (Carabao Cup Second Round)

“A great win all round, now for three points on Sunday”, “A good confidence-booster for Ipswich. It just shows what happens when you give it a go”, “Beating Cardiff could have raised expectations for Sunday. That could help create a dangerous mix if we suffer an almighty reverse at Portman Road.”

Dennis Srbeny's strike on 26 put the Canaries ahead before the interval on Tuesday night. Srbeny headed in his second on 64 and Max Aarons added a third on 69 to beat a poor Cardiff side. Bruno headed Cardiff's first goal of the season on 77 but their late rally proved to be too little too late.

McGovernPasslackGodfreyZimmermannAaronsTetteyTrybullBuendiaCantwellStiepermannSrbeny

“It was brilliant to see the second-string XI [above] giving the manager something to think about.” Both teams played reserve line-ups, but keeper Michael McGovern and playmaker Emiliano Buendia may have played themselves into contention for Sunday. “This gives Farke a nice headache to have.”

Goalkeepers and Defenders

“Tim Krul worries me. He parries things back into play rather than out of danger.” The 30-year-old one-time Newcastle keeper “looks like he will have a howler in him every game”, “He had a horror show against West Brom, letting one shot squirm out of his arms and into the corner of the net.”

player imageTim Krul

“Krul has made some good saves this season but there’s something not quite right about him”, “His ridiculous mistakes give goals away and it’s not unlucky when he catches thin air”, “He makes point blank saves and has a good pedigree, but I’m worried that if we stick with him, it will end in tears.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but I would go with Michael McGovern at Ipswich.” The 34-year-old ex-Hamilton keeper “is a good steady experienced keeper. He’s decent enough and won’t make any howlers”, “He’s not great with his feet and has lacked confidence, flapping at anything near him.”

“Ivo Pinto’s positioning for the first Leeds goal was awful.” The 28-year-old Portuguese right-back “is positionally unaware. He can’t defend for toffee but looks good going forward, even if his crossing in erratic”, “I love his will to win and the effort he pits in but he’s a serious weak link when defending.”

player imageIvo Pinto

“Pinto is constantly marauding forward with nobody covering him.” The ex-Dinamo Zagreb man “is a nice man but he doesn’t offer anything apart from huff and puff going forward and defensively he’s poor”, “He’s positionally unaware, he fails to track back and he gets irritable with his own players.”

“Felix Passlack will get assists.” The 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund loanee “is a very good right-back going forward and he’s tidy at the back”, “He’s quite diminutive so the physical aspect of the English game may be an issue”, “He’s quick, competent and looks busy. He looks as if he will be very useful.”

“Ben Godfrey as a holding midfielder would protect the defence and give us more midfield energy.” The 20-year-old was on loan at Paul Hurst’s Shrewsbury last year and started at Cardiff in the back four. “He can sit in between the centre-backs or play in front of them with discipline and restraint.”

“I’m impressed by Jamal Lewis. He is great going forward and puts in decent covering tackles too.” The 20-year-old youth product “is an up and coming talent. He’s such a threat when allowed to play higher up the pitch”, “He has started well but has only really played half a season in the first team.”

“Top quality left-backs are hard to come by and ones with Lewis’s pace are even rarer”, “He offers a great overlap option when attacking down the left side”, “He has shown a little inconsistency which is understandable for a young player coming through. He could also be the perfect little wing back.”

“I love Christoph Zimmermann’s attitude and desire to do well for the club.” The 25-year-old former Borussia Dortmund II centre-back “is the heart and soul of the team”, “He was fired up coming on against Preston. He was dictating our plans to the other players with a heap of aggressive passion.”

“Zimmermann made a quality cross-field pass to set up one of our goals against Preston”, “He does impress me against teams who play football on the deck but less so against more physical sides”, “He makes occasional mistakes but they all do. Get him in the team and we are solid at the back.”

“Timm Klose has not been consistent this season. He may be our best centre-back but he switches off a lot.” The 30-year-old ex-VfL Wolfsburg man “makes timely interceptions, picking up the pieces for other defenders. Nothing spectacular but he is decent”, “He has switched off a lot this season.”

“Klose often gets bullied and has never adapted to English Championship football”, “He was terrific in a back three last year, when he had licence to go forward with the ball and be effective further up the pitch”, “He struggles against physical strikers and is slow. He hasn’t got going this season.”

Grant Hanley

“Hanley is a good honest centre-back which is what we need in this division.” The 26-year-old ex-Newcastle and Blackburn man “has had a poor defensive start to the season. He was atrocious in the season-opener at Birmingham, missing headers and playing opposition strikers in with poor passes.”

player imageGrant Hanley

“Everyone seems to admire Hanley’s ‘manly’ way of playing but it’s starting to look as if he has too many mistakes in him”, “He gets genuinely flustered trying to remember what his instructions are. He charges out of defence with the ball gets jumpy and hoofs it long”, “His form has been worrying.”

Central Midfielders

“Alexander Tettey’s goal against Preston was a beauty but he made three dangerous mistakes and could have cost us the game.” The 32-year-old one-time FK Rosenborg holding midfielder “is the one player who gets stuck in, but he can’t take the ball in tight areas as his poor touch gives it away.”

player imageAlexander Tettey v Stephen Gleeson

“Even though he shouldn’t have been on the pitch against Preston, I salute Tettey’s goal”, “He’s not suited to giving and receiving the ball under pressure”, “His role maximises his weaknesses with his lack of pace and minimises his strengths. Trying to play the ball through him is such a terrible idea.”

“Is Marco Stiepermann’s left-sided versatility his greatest asset?” The 27-year-old ex-VfL Bochum man “is hit and miss for me. He has bags of energy and is very confident but he gives the ball away too often. He’s a breath of fresh air when he comes on but he’s not quite as good as he thinks he is.”

“Stiepermann does bring extra aerial power. Only four City players have won more headers than him but them have had at least double the time on the pitch”, “He’s ineffective going forward. He works hard and wins the ball back by hassling defenders. He also has the physicality but he’s not a starter.”

“Louis Thompson was certainly combative against Leeds but he looked a bit lost at times when they moved the ball past him.” The 23-year-old former Swindon man “was the only midfielder putting in a shift”, “He was way off the pace and uncomfortable with the ball at his feet but he made an effort.”

“If we need a midfield enforcer, my preference is for Thompson”, “He could shield and cover while allowing Leitner more freedom to get forward rather than covering our marauding full-backs”, “He looks a powerful unit and must be champing at the bit. This should be his season to break through.”

“Tom Trybull used to look like a classy and composed midfielder who wasn’t afraid to get stuck in. Now he looks lightweight.” The 25-year-old one-time Werder Bremen man “was left standing by his man constantly against Leeds. He has been poor this season and I would be tempted to drop him.”

“If Trybull is a defensive midfielder, there’s no point in standing like a fairy on top of a Christmas tree while people run all around him. You have to get hold of the runners so they don’t attack the centre-backs”, “He lacks the mobility for the box-to-box role and is incapable of bringing the ball forward.”

“Emiliano Buendia made a big difference against Preston. We finally had a link from Leitner to the players in an advanced position.” The Argentinian 21-year-old arrived in June from Getafe. “He was a rabbit in the headlights when he first came on but he grew into the game. He will be fun to watch.”

“Buendia must start at Ipswich, he seems to be a perfect number 10 to play off a striker like Rhodes. He demands the ball and makes himself available to carry it. Give it to him and let him do his thing”, “He adds more muscle than Wes Hoolahan but with more guile. He would be on my team sheet.”

Moritz Leitner

“I am at a bit of a loss with Leitner. I don’t know what he is contributing”, “He’s a nice player but a lightweight. He’s too easily closed down and challenged when on the ball”, “He’s technically good and a good passer but that’s about it”, “He’s a Farke-philosophy player without an end product.”

player imageMoritz Leitner v Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City)

“At the moment our system essentially boils down to ‘give it to Leitner’ in most situations.” The 25-year-old one-time Borussia Dortmund and Lazio man arrived on loan from FC Augsburg in January before joining City permanently this summer. “He seems to be a bit too easily bullied this season.”

“Leitner is on the pitch to find space between the lines and either move between defenders or move them around. He’s not going to drift past players and smash shots from 30 yards. He’s there to make space, disrupt, move the ball and pick a pass”, “Our confused thinking has diminished his impact.”

Wingers and Wide Midfielders

“Ben Marshall is a winger but he was asked to tuck in and let Pinto go forward against Preston.” The 27-year-old June signing from Wolves spent the second half of last season on loan at Millwall. “He is yet to find his feet. I hope he has patience because he wasn’t too impressed with being substituted.”

“I’m not a fan of Marshall playing in a full-back role”, “He was a good buy with lots of potential but everyone has twigged that he isn’t a defender”, “He misjudges crosses when defending and he’s far better going forward”, “He’s better utilised in a wing-back role than as an unaccomplished full-back.”

Onel Hernandez

“Hernandez is willing to go at the opposition and make them uncomfortable.” The 25-year-old left-winger arrived from Eintracht Braunschweig in January. “He transforms games with his pace and he is a different class to most of our players”, “An attacking outlet who makes games entertaining.”

“Thank God for Hernandez, he restores our hope”, “He’s a winger who will blow hot and cold, but he has clear ability, pace and more strength than mode wingers in this league”, “He makes us direct and pacy, an absolute machine who is unplayable at times”, “He’s carries such a threat with his pace.”

Strikers

“Dennis Srbeny looks better as a withdrawn number nine and not as a target man.” The 24-year-old ex-Paderborn player “strikes me as the new Aaron Wilbraham. He has a role as an impact substitute who will put himself about and make life difficult for defenders but he’s not a massive goal threat.”

“Srbeny looks a different player to last year. He has been stacking the weights and he almost has a Grant Holt frame now, a long way from the weedy kid we signed”, “He’s really powerful running with the ball”, “He is a finisher but when it’s instinctive and when he has no time to dwell on his options.”

“Teemu Pukki looks like a very astute signing.” The 28-year-old Finnish striker arrived from Brondby in June. “I think this guy has an eye for goal and I would love to see him running off or with Rhodes”, “His speed, coverage of the pitch and physical presence makes a difference compared to last year.”

“Is Pukki better suited as an out-and-out striker, a position he’s used to playing?”, “His touch and ability to find space between the lines are a great asset. He’s hardworking, intelligent, flexible and he has an eye for goal”, “He links up play really well, he’s also forward thinking and is very aggressive.”

Jordan Rhodes

“Rhodes needs chances created for him to score”, “He had little supply against Leeds with no crosses going past him. He didn’t look a threat at any point”, “Against Preston he looked a handful, creating space and being a constant threat”, “He’s what we missed last season, a poacher to feed off scraps.”

player imageJordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday)

“He has more of an all-round game than I imagined.” The 28-year-old arrived on loan from Sheffield Wednesday in July and the former Town striker has impressed Canaries with his wider contribution to their attacking play. “When Rhodes goes up for a header, he actually directs it to a team-mate.”

“We’re making the same mistake we did with Ricky van Wolfswinkel by asking a poacher to play as a target man”, “He’s clearly much more disciplined than our other strikers in terms of his positioning. Nobody is prepared to give him killer balls and when they do, they are usually pretty poor quality.”

“Rhodes has great athleticism to attack the ball and a real striker’s instinct to smash it home”, “He is a threat in the box every time we go forward. He will score goals for us, no doubt about it. He’s quick physical, strong and takes clever touches. I have no concerns about him. We have a striker again.”

Canaries’ Views on ITFC and the Game

“I feel that our strength on Sunday will be the weakness of the opposition”, “Ipswich might come at us from the start buoyed by an unusually high crowd, but I feel that they lack any hint of class, are fundamentally naive and lacking in anything other than the most basic ‘gung-ho’ confidence.”

Canaries have been generally quite subdued in recent weeks with many fearing a defeat on Sunday, but some familiar optimistic noises have been emanating recently with the matchday looming. Some feel that a draw might not be beneath them, but most agree on the importance of scoring early on.

“There is a strange conviction on TWTD that they are better than us and everything will be okay in the end. I would say that we are both awful and this is a relegation derby. Whoever scores first will win it. Such is the fragile confidence of both teams that whoever scores first may well score plenty.”

“There is one interesting and well written post on TWTD suggesting that this is the poorest quality derby in living memory. I have been watching Norwich play Ipswich for nearly 50 years and I can't remember a time when both teams were this poor at the same time.”

“The first goal will be even more key than usual, as it will affect confidence of both sides”, “Fingers crossed we score first but I'm already well past worrying about finishing above them and will happily accept 21st place at the end of the season right now”, “If we get that early goal, we have won it.”

“Ipswich have a defence known for being vulnerable to set pieces”, “What is noticeable is that both teams do fairly well from attacking set pieces but both are frankly shocking at defending them, so not conceding corners or needless free kicks in our half will be key.”

“Ipswich’s main threat seems to be Gwion Edwards. it could be a busy day for Jamal Lewis”, “I really like the look of Emiliano Buendia and fancy him as a trick up the sleeve just in case”, “We must have Jordan Rhodes. It's all set up for him to become the villain of the piece on this particular occasion.”

Players from both teams have been name-checked, but one wider theme has been how new this game will be for many of the players. “Does anyone else feel that the players we have now, due to their newness or coming from abroad, are not going to appreciate how special the derby is?”

Many Canaries are worries about how Farke will set their team up. “Even after selling our prize assets over the past couple of years we still have a better team than Ipswich, but our manager might hinder us. Can he be trusted to pick the right team, formation and substitutions? Who honestly knows…”

“A draw would seem the most likely outcome, although I would be far more convinced of a City win against a weak, bottom of the league Ipswich if our manager had not already begun to expose many of the deficiencies in his style that were evident last season. They are going backwards, we are standing still.”

“I watched a match with Ellis Harrison playing up front by himself. A lone striker who couldn't take a first touch or hold it up, he didn't know what runs to make, and when gifted opportunities to shoot, he couldn't do it on target”, “Walters is just the sort of crafty sod to draw a cheap penalty though.”

“Jonathan Walters will at least be a physical presence for us to deal with. It depends how fit he is but decent enough signing”, “A great signing. I can’t see us keeping him at bay for 90 minutes”, “He will be on the bench, and if he is all we’ve got to worry about then I’m starting to feel more confident.”

“If Walters starts then I would expect a fair bit of long ball at our defence. We aren't brilliant coping around our area and I would prefer to see three at the back or if not, at least Walters man-marked”, “Let’s not dismiss him because of his age. We signed Dion Dublin at 37, and he became cult hero.”

Feeling Optimistic

“We have a lot of players who have played in big game environments. Ipswich conversely have very few who will have played in a big match atmosphere. They have signed lower leaguers more used to playing in front of 2,500 people than 25,000. The atmosphere will be to our advantage.”

“We have a better XI and squad than them. Hurst looks to be way out of his depth in this division, his scattergun approach of buying every decent player he worked with in League One is inherently risky. He's a poor man's Paul Lambert, but he hasn’t got the nous or transfer acumen that Lambert had.”

“Our squad is better than our results would indicate too and sooner or later we will click into gear and start picking up points”, “Overall, Ipswich are due a win so by law of averages we might get beat but if we do it will be a scrappy 1-0, as Ipswich simply don’t have enough quality to turn us over.

“Conversely, I think that if we win then it will be a four or five-goal spanking. Ipswich’s confidence is paper thin and we do have enough quality to annihilate them. I don’t see a draw for this one. The first goal is crucial, but if we nick one early then it will be floodgates open and a demolition derby.”

Websites

The two busiest Canaries’ message boards are The Pink ‘Un and the cheerfully coloured Wrath of the Barclay, which operates in thread mode.

More match videos can be found on our Norwich City highlights page.

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TractorCam added 12:18 - Aug 31
Seem to be saying this every time now, but THIS is our best chance to beat them in recent years. Despite our league position, we haven't really looked out of place other than Derby away, but the mistakes at the back are a big concern so we need to be on our A game up front. Come on Town!
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BlueandTruesince82 added 12:22 - Aug 31
Please.... just to shut Sutton up..... please
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Mullet added 12:34 - Aug 31
What are they talking about regarding atmosphere? They know it's at our place not theirs right?

Pleasing to know they see this as a relegation derby. Sounds like there's only one team who fears going down.
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boroughblue added 12:36 - Aug 31
Please, just beat this lot. I can't take losing to them again. The scum fans need to be put back in there places too. Just please Town
1

JewellintheTown added 12:45 - Aug 31
Nice one as usual, Harry. Cheers for all that! Well researched, written and informed as usual.
I fear Rhodes will certainly be happy to be the villain, and bask in it with a goal or two with our currently shakey defence. Don't think he has any loyalty to us at all after how he was treated, probably an axe to grind.
I do see Walters equally nicking one or two to cement his legend status, so the game is on!
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The_Great_Cornholio added 12:53 - Aug 31
God, I hate them.
2

essextractorboy93 added 13:02 - Aug 31
Another brilliant piece Harry! Excellent work

Our games with Norwich in recent years have generally been really close, 1-0 or 1-1 score lines. I feel like in both home games this season we have played reasonably well, more so against Villa. Both us and Norwich have threats, will be interesting to see the outcome!

COYB!
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leahcar88 added 13:14 - Aug 31
“Overall, Ipswich are due a win so by law of averages we might get beat but if we do it will be a scrappy 1-0, as Ipswich simply don’t have enough quality to turn us over.“

Definition of contradiction
2

BobbyBell added 13:24 - Aug 31
Why do they have such a high and mighty attitude? I think they are really scared of losing this one as they seem to constantly be putting us down in an attempt to convince themselves that we're not a challenge to them. Even in our glory days we always accepted that anything could happen in the derby match.
0

tractorboybig added 13:30 - Aug 31
unfortuanly their assessment of us does seem logically correct. Mr hurst time to stand up and be counted. I am sure you can do it?
1

Ardentitfc1978 added 13:37 - Aug 31
Ipswich will win this even with 10 men.
0

thechangingman added 14:02 - Aug 31
Personally, I thought some of the fan-views of us at the end were fair and insightful. Let's face it, there can be few derby encounters EVER in which BOTH clubs have been so abysmal.

For me, it'll be a case of which team are least-crap on the day.

Obviously, that doesn't mean I don't want us to win; it's just that neither of us is exactly in a classic-era...
6

glasso added 14:10 - Aug 31
That picture of Leitner looks like an out-of-control, studs-up challenge, doesn't it? I think this is what we're doing now...?
0

BerlinBlue added 14:14 - Aug 31
Thanks Harry, great report as always.

“We have a better XI and squad than them. Hurst looks to be way out of his depth in this division,.."
"Ipswich’s confidence is paper thin and we do have enough quality to annihilate them."

I guess we should paint the away dressing room pink before Sunday then.
1

BobbyBell added 14:32 - Aug 31
IF we win, and it's a big IF, they are going to be so embarrassed and their boasting words will look so cringingly awful. Personally I'm more concerned about the referee that the budgies based on our previous games.
0

Northstandveteran added 14:44 - Aug 31
Couldn't have put it better myself changingman.
2

Palestine added 16:02 - Aug 31
A very interesting and enlightening read!

I have to say I was not expecting them to be THAT scathing about their team's quality and strength. From the write up I would have thought we were favourites, yet they still all feel they will win. Definitely a winnable game for Ipswich. Would be a dream if this is the game it finally clicks and we create and take a few chances. Walters could be critical. Their defence sounds dodgy.

But would you all take a draw if offered now....? Hmmmm
1

karls_dad added 16:28 - Aug 31
For me i think we shoould really take the p-ss out of their pink dressing room theory, supply pink towels, pink cushions and maybe some nice pink Ostrich feathers hanging from the clothes pegs, in fact as much pink as Suffolk has to offer, i think that would really nark them!! oh for a birds eye view when they walk in, a pink bird of course! LMFAO
1

jas0999 added 16:58 - Aug 31
Good work a Harry. Excellent read again.

One thing it would seem both sets of supporters agree on, is both teams are very poor.
1

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:04 - Aug 31
The opposition view on us seems to be relatively polite, although maybe Harry edited out the abusive bits. Bit surprised to hear how little confidence they seem to have. Not that I've taken much notice, but I thought they'd been playing ok (even against Leeds, they were supposed to have started well); anyway, I'm glad to hear they don't think they have. The biggest piece of b*sh*t is the idea that if they score first, the "floodgates will be open." That has definitely not been the case with us so far. In fact when we've gone behind, we've begun to play some of our best football. No way does a PH team give up at 1-0 down. Hope JW will start and tip the balance up front. If he does win a "cheap penalty" I'll be happy because it's no more than we deserve after our recent bad luck with the men in black. COYB!
1

Felstow1978 added 23:00 - Aug 31
I'm struggling to recall a derby which seems to be so short on passion. Maybe it's the poor start both sides have made to this season? Maybe it's the fact that the absence of home-grown talent (on either side) is so pronounced? Or maybe it's because at both ends of the A140 the owners have simply squeezed out so much of the spirit and values of the two clubs that derbies just matter that little bit less as the years roll on
1


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