Derby games have a mind of their own - Bryan Hamilton
IPSWICH Town will be sharpening themselves up at Bristol City today to get into fine fettle for next Thursday’s home Championship game against Norwich City.
A good result at Ashton Gate will set up Paul Jewell’s men for the East Anglian derby that is set to be played out furiously in front of a full house.
And former Ipswich Town player and Norwich City manager Bryan Hamilton today stressed the importance of the Tractor Boys finishing this campaign on a high note.
“Hope is what Ipswich never had last summer ahead of this season,” said Hamilton.
“Norwich City had it in abundance after gaining promotion from League One, and this has showed since moving up to the Championship.
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“If Ipswich can finish well in their last four or five games it will be important. It will put them in the right frame of mind and carry momentum over to 2011/12.”
Hamilton has praise for what the Canaries have achieved this term under the management of Paul Lambert and knows how big next Thursday’s match will be for the Norfolk side that is still seeking automatic promotion to the Premier League.
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“I was desperate for Roy Keane to do well at Portman Road as he is such a big name,” added Hamilton, who works in hospitality at Ipswich home games.
“Last close season was not one that carried any hope for Ipswich whereas Norwich carried over their good work from the back end of last season.
“If Ipswich can finish showing some panache and style it will make such a difference to them.
“Norwich have such a lot to play for, but derby games have a mind of their own.
“Pride will be at stake as much as anything but for Norwich finishing in the top two is important.
“The play-offs are a lottery and only okay if you win them.
“Managers and players want to get it all done and dusted so that you can go on holiday and have a well deserved break to get ready for the next level of football.”
Hamilton, who lives just outside Ipswich, sees Canary striker Grant Holt as the City danger man.
“If he’s fit to play he will be a handful,” added Hamilton.
“He is basically the difference between the teams. He is a leader who holds the ball up and scores plenty of goals.
“There is a confidence about him and he will have to be watched.”