Attack the Canaries - derby day hero calls on Keane to play two upfront

DERBY day hero Alex Mathie has urged Roy Keane to attack Norwich City and light up Sunday’s showdown with entertaining football.

The former Ipswich Town striker, who wrote his name in club folklore with a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of the arch rivals 12 years ago, believes starting with two up front represents the best chance of blue success in the East Anglian derby.

The Ipswich manager has come under some fire of late after losing the last three matches – and due to the standard of football served up for most of this season.

And Mathie believes this Sunday’s televised clash is the perfect way for Keane to silence his doubters – but only if Town are more adventurous from the off.

He said: “I think Town have to be positive, take the game to Norwich, play good football and show what they can do. In my opinion, they should start with a 4-4-2 formation and try and put Norwich on the back foot straight away.”

Mathie scored a first-half hat- trick in the 1998 derby at Portman Road in a match Town won 5-0 – equalling their biggest ever win over the old enemy. But such high-scoring has eluded Ipswich this season – only four Championship clubs have scored fewer goals.

Mathie, who was working as a radio summariser during last Saturday’s glum 1-0 defeat at Hull, said: “I thought Town were a little negative in they way they set out against Hull, who were there for the taking. The 4-1-4-1 formation has worked this season and Roy obviously didn’t want to concede a goal on Saturday.

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“But then Hull scored out of nowhere and you start to worry where a Town goal is going to come from. If they sit back against Norwich, fans are going to start getting restless.

“Ipswich need to put in a really positive performance. It is a massive game and means so much to fans. Let’s have a real go at Norwich – that is what everyone wants to see.”

February 21, 1998 is a date that will always be indelibly marked on the minds of Town fans after Mathie’s trio and a dazzling display by two-goal wing wizard Bobby Petta.

Recalling the game, Mathie said: “Winning 5-0 was just unbelievable. After the game, the area we lived at the time in Ipswich was phenomenal. Someone came up to my house and gave me a bottle of whiskey and said ‘thanks for making me happy for the next six months’.”

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