Dozzell: I was brought up to hate Norwich – please let us beat them

Jason Dozzell

Jason Dozzell - Credit: Archant

Ex-Ipswich Town midfielder Jason Dozzell was brought up to hate Norwich City – and he’s got a feeling that his beloved Blues can get the ultimate bragging rights over their bitter rivals over the coming two weekends.

Fate has pitted the East Anglian duo against each other in a Championship play-off semi-final – the first leg at Portman Road on Saturday and the second leg at Carrow Road seven days later (both 12.15pm kos).

“I was born 400 yards away from the North Stand,” said Dozzell, the former Chantry High School pupil who made his Town debut aged 15. “My football education came kicking a ball about with my mates on Alderman Road Park right by the ground. My mum had to drag me in when it got dark every night.

“I was an Ipswich fan long before I became a player. I went to all the games, home and away.

“I respect Norwich City Football Club, but I was brought up to hate them. When I got in the squad I made sure the rest of the players knew what those derby games meant to the fans.

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“I try not to go out in Norwich too much now because it can be a little bit uncomfortable. People start looking at you and giving a few evils. Would you believe it, I actually was meant to be going on my mate’s stag do in Norwich on the night of the second leg. He’s a really good friend, but I’ve had to cancel. There’s no way I can do that!”

Dozzell, now an academy coach at the club and father of highly-rated youngster Andre, continued: “I just can’t wait. These are the sort of games that make me wish I was still playing. I’ve not stopped thinking about it since the final whistle on Saturday. I’m just thinking ‘please let us beat them’!

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“I played against them in the semi-finals of the League Cup in 1985. We won the home leg 1-0 and then lost the away leg 2-0. I was marking Steve Bruce when he scored the crucial goal too. I don’t think I ever lost against them after that though. I got a couple of goals when we beat them twice in the Premiership.

“I would rather have faced them in a one-off game at Wembley, but, the way the season has gone, I wouldn’t put it past us to go through. And I honestly think that if we do beat them then we’ll go on and win the final.”

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