Ipswich/Norwich: Blues fans eagerly anticipating the return of the East Anglian Derby as Norwich City relegation looks inevitable
PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 May 2014
It is more than three years since Norwich City humiliated Ipswich Town at Portman Road in a landmark 5-1 victory.
But with the Canaries on the brink of relegation back to the Championship, Blues fans are eagerly anticipating the return of the East Anglian Derby next season and gaining revenge.
After three seasons in the Premier League, Norwich need a miracle to remain in England’s top division. They are third from bottom (18th) and three points behind West Brom (17th), the only team they can catch. However, with a goal difference of -32 compared to West Brom’s -15, the Canaries need an almighty victory against Arsenal at Carrow Road on Sunday to avoid the dreaded drop.
They can be backed at 1,000/1 to pull off the great escape with bookmakers Paddy Power.
And Town fans are already eyeing up the next “Old Farm” derby.
Elizabeth Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, said the match will be the first one she looks for when next season’s fixtures are announced.
“Both games will be Sunday lunchtimes, I am sure, but the atmosphere will be tremendous and I am quite convinced we will give them a better game than last time around,” she said.
“If they have done their homework, they will realise that we are not an easy team to beat, and I am quite sure that we’ll be putting in the right kind of tackle – I mean very, very hard ones. It will be marvellous to have Portman Road full to capacity once again too.”
However, she warned Norwich will be favourites for promotion, but said other relegated sides have found an instant return to the top table a struggle.
“That hangover will not be easily cured,” she said.
An Ipswich v Norwich play-off final at Wembley would be either the “ultimate dream” or the “ultimate nightmare”.
“Having to face a wall of Canary Yellow the other end of Wembley would be unthinkably unpleasant,” she said.
On Facebook, Kevin Rammstein said: “(The) only way is down for Norwich. Easy six points for us next season.”
Jackie Calver added: “Can’t wait for the banter to start between us rival fans. Looking forward the matches home and away!!!!”
And Ipswich Mayor Hamil Clarke joked: “Well, it will be a bit special to invite our old friends from Norwich down to Portman Road next season – but a pity that it will only be for one year owing to the fact that we are going up to the Premier League.”
Town defender Luke Hyam said on Twitter: “I literally can’t wait to play Norwich next season #derby.”
Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said the derby has always had a positive impact on the town’s economy.
He said: “There is almost always a capacity crowd, plenty of fans from Norwich coming to our town with their friends and families and enjoying the Ipswich experience, and even more ITFC fans than usual in and around town on the day.”
Alasdair Ross, chair of the Ipswich Town Independent Supporters Trust, said: “I hope both clubs and supporters groups can work together to make the derby matches exciting, intense but without draconian crowd control measures.”