Canary Russell aims to keep derby record
Norwich midfielder Darel Russell has an unbeaten record in derby matches against Ipswich and wants to keep it that way as a thank you for City's fans.“It's a good record - and one I intend to keep,” said Russell, who is well aware that success at Portman Road on Sunday would go some way to rewarding City's long-suffering fans for a season of turmoil.
Norwich midfielder Darel Russell has an unbeaten record in derby matches against Ipswich and wants to keep it that way as a thank you for City's fans.
“It's a good record - and one I intend to keep,” said Russell, who is well aware that success at Portman Road on Sunday would go some way to rewarding City's long-suffering fans for a season of turmoil.
“This means a lot to use - for the fans. It is a great game, obviously. It is a big game to play in and of course you want to do well in those games because the fans are going to be rooting for you because it is such an important game for them.
“So I think knowing that you are playing for them gives you a massive edge and gives you an incentive to do that much better - as well as it being a derby and having that derby atmosphere around it.
“The fans want to be able to have bragging rights - this one's happening later on in the season so you don't have as much of the season to brag about it, but if I was a fan I'd want those bragging rights without a doubt.
“If you work with Ipswich supporters you can go to work and give them a bit of stick for the next couple of months if we get the result. That would top it off for them and give them a great thing to cheer.”
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The Canaries midfielder, in his second spell at Carrow Road, has played in four games against the Tractor Boys - drawing three and winning one, when Iwan Roberts scored a famous brace at Portman Road back in March, 2000.
The midfielder is likely to be one of only three locally-produced players who feature in Sunday's squad - with striker Jamie Cureton and defender Jason Shackell following the same path through the ranks.
But even though manager Glenn Roeder is likely to involve a clutch of loan players, Russell is adamant that everyone understands the importance of the game.
“I think they do - and if they don't at this minute in time, then I think with the build-up and the hype this week going into the game I am quite sure they will be dragged along into the whole day out and what it means,” he said.
“There will be a lot of people around the town speaking to players if they see them and telling them that they want to win this weekend. So I think the whole air and sense around the city will encourage anyone and even if you don't understand fully what it means you will be dragged along this week in the whole hype about the game.
What adds extra spice to Sunday's game - the 89th meeting between the sides in all competitions - are the very different implications for both teams. If Norwich win, it eases their relegation worries even further - but hinders Ipswich's play-off ambitions.
“We both have reasons for wanting to win the game, for matters at different ends of the table, but also for pride as well,” said Russell.
“It has such implications - they will be wanting to try and beat us and try and give us a problem in terms of relegation, but we will be wanting to beat them in terms of stopping them trying to make that promotion push for themselves, so there are so many others factors riding on this game, not just pride. It is going to make it very, very big game and if that can't get you up for it I don't think anyone anything else can.”