‘Have no regrets’ - Bobby Petta urges Ipswich Town’s promotion hopefuls

Bobby Petta takes on Charlton's Shaun Newton during one of Town's play-off defeats

Bobby Petta takes on Charlton's Shaun Newton during one of Town's play-off defeats

Former Blues winger Bobby Petta has urged the current Ipswich squad to go one better than he did during his time at Portman Road and win promotion to the Premier League.

The Dutchman was with Town for three failed play-off campaigns, against Sheffield United, Charlton and Bolton, before he departed the club in the summer of 1999.

The Blues head to Norwich on Saturday level at 1-1 after the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final to face a Canaries team that did the double over them during the regular season.

Petta says the players will be relishing the derby fever, having experienced it himself, scoring two goals for Town in the famous 5-0 ‘Demolition Derby’ of 1998.

“It will be very intense, the players will want to book their places at Wembley, and I would say to them, ‘give it your all, don’t have any regrets’,” said the former Feyenoord man.

“Ipswich are one game away from Wembley and a chance to play in the best league in the world in my opinion.

“It’s a derby so there should be even more motivation and passion and the players must not leave anything in the dressing room.”

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Petta and Ipswich endured play-off heartbreak in the semi-final games of 1997, 1998 and 1999.

The Glasgow-based UEFA A-licensed coach hopes the current team don’t suffer the same fate.

“I hope for the fans and the club that Ipswich can get promoted, it would be amazing,” he added.

“I have nothing but good memories of my time at the club.

“We were a good footballing team and had a lot of experience.

“Everyone played their part, the likes of David Johnson and Richard Wright, Kieron Dyer running the midfield.

“We lost to Bolton and Charlton. We beat Bolton 4-3 at home in the second leg but lost 1-0 away and went out on away goals.

“We then played Charlton and there was nothing in it, losing both games 1-0.

“The club was promoted the season after I left and Martijn Reuser scored in the play-off final so I was happy the Dutch connection was still there.”

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