Danny under no illusions about derby day

TO the outsider Ipswich against Colchester United and Norwich City may not rank up there with Manchester United against Liverpool or Manchester City, but Danny Simpson has already been warned he is in for a shock.

Derek Davis

TO the outsider Ipswich against Colchester United and Norwich City may not rank up there with Manchester United against Liverpool or Manchester City, but Danny Simpson has already been warned he is in for a shock.

The Red Devils' defender will be playing in his first East Anglian derby on Saturday, and is under no illusion just what it means for football fans over both borders.

Not only are the three points vital for both sides at different ends of the table but local pride is immense, and possibly even more so when they entertain Norwich City the week after.


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Simpson said: “The lads here have told me what it is like and how big a game it is going to be. Of course they always mean a lot to the fans but I have been told I will be surprised at the intensity here and I'm really looking forward to both games.”

Although he has played in the Champions' League for United and played a part in Sunderland's promotion last season, this will be the biggest derby match he has played in so far.

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Simpson said: “Probably the reserve team games at Manchester United against Liverpool and Manchester City are the biggest I have been involved in but these will mean even more. All derby games are big. Even from the age of 12 the coaches instil the importance of winning all games but especially these matches.”

The 21-year-old right back is looking to bring his experience gleaned at winning promotion at the Stadium of Light into the Blues' play off challenge and sees a lot of similarities between the clubs and their managers.

Simpson said: “What I learned at Sunderland was not to look too far ahead. You do your job and look to get the three points and take the next step.

“It is all one or two touch stuff here, as it was at Sunderland and there are a lot of similarities.

“The main thing is they are all winners. I like that because I'm on the game. I hate coming off the pitch after losing or knowing you could have done more.

“Jim's attitude, like Roy Keane, has a strong belief and desire and that transmits to the players. You know you are not just here to make up numbers but if you really want to promotion then you can go out and get it.”

Simpson did not want to just make up the numbers at Old Trafford either and, unlike a number of other Premiership players that refused to go out on loan, wanted to play rather than just sit in the reserves.

While he understands their point of view Simpson believes he is better off playing and developing.

He said: “In football a player can get injured at any time so when you are in reserve you need to keep working hard ready for when your chance comes.

“At United we all work hard in training knowing you are next in line and when the chance comes at one of the biggest clubs in the world you have to grab it.

“I can't speak for others but for me I didn't want to play reserve team football if I had the chance to go out on loan. I enjoyed the Sunderland experience last year a lot so now I can do it again but with Ipswich this time.”

Layer Road may not be Old Trafford but Simpson is about to learn a valuable lesson in football derbies.

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