Match preview: Ipswich Town v Norwich City – Hurst wants his team to be ‘up for a fight’
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst wants his team to be ‘up for a fight’ but also to keep cool heads in tomorrow afternoon’s East Anglian derby against Norwich City at Portman Road (12pm ko).
The Blues haven’t beaten their bitter rivals since April 2009 (D4 L6). And they go into this match bottom of the Championship table and out of the Carabao Cup after a winless six-game under their new boss.
“I understand it’s massive for the fans – it’s big for us all,” said Hurst. “I always want my team to be competitive and up for a fight. We know with derby days that has got to be an absolute given because otherwise the opposition will get on top of you.
“We have to be ready for what Norwich will bring, but also be fully prepared to try and take our game to Norwich and make sure they are ready to stand up to that.
“I’ll be asking for high energy. That’s what derbies are about, the players feed off of the atmosphere, but at the same time don’t let that take away from what the job is. Try and play with some element of composure when possible. You can’t just charge around the pitch like headless chickens and not have any quality.
“I’ll be very surprised though if the first 10 minutes, at least, aren’t frantic and there’s not overly too much football played.
“I’ve seen many a derby game where you get to the end of it and think ‘that was just a battle’. If that’s what it takes to win then I am more than happy with that. But I do think there will be moments where we have to show an element of composure in addition to the sheer desire and effort.
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“If we are awful and get three points then I will be happy but, long-term, that won’t do us any good. I don’t think any fan will care how we play on Sunday though as long as we come out the right side of the result.”
He continued: “It’s the start of a new month for us and hopefully that will see a change in fortunes in terms of the results.
“The fact there is an international break which follows adds to it as well. Ultimately, whatever does happen there is still 40 games left.”
On the Canaries, who lost 3-0 at home to Leeds last weekend before a much-changed side won 3-1 at Cardiff in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, Hurst said: “They had a few lads who had positive appearances at Cardiff. And I have to say, in the Leeds game, they more than held their own up until the first goal. Then Leeds, the team everyone is talking about, grew in confidence. So there was no disgrace in that defeat.
“It’s been mentioned that it’s a good game for us, well Norwich might think the same as well.”
Manager: Daniel Farke (May ‘17): W21 D18 L20
Last five finishes: 14th, 8th (Champ’), 19th
(Prem Lg), 3rd (Champ’), 18th (Prem Lg)
Last game: W 3-1 Cardiff (a) - Lg Cup, Tues
Last weekend: L 3-0 (h) Leeds
Summer signings: Rhodes, Buendia,
Marshall, Lietner, Pukki, Passlack, Krul
Key summer exits: Maddison, Murphy, Husband, Watkins, Wildschut
Top-scorers: Pukki (3), Hernandez, Rhodes (2)
League ever-presents: Krul, Klose, Hanley, Hernandez, Pukki, Rhodes
April 2009 – Town’s last win against Norwich (D4 L6 F7 A20)
12 – Summer signings made by Blues boss Paul Hurst
4 – Jon Walters played in four East Anglian derbies between Apr ‘07 and Dec ‘08 (W1 D2 L1)
Norwich City 1 Ipswich Town 1
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018
Town looked to have finally ended the wait for a win against their bitter rivals when Luke Chambers headed home from a corner in the 89th minute at Carrow Road, but Blues hearts were broken when Timm Klose nodded home a dramatic leveller deep into stoppage-time.
Town team news
– Toto Nsiala is suspended after the red card he was given at Sheffield Wednesday was upheld on appeal. Trevoh Chalobah could drop into defence in his place, new loan signing Matthew Pennington could be given his debut after arriving from Everton on Friday, or Jordan Spence could come into the side. Janoi Donacien and Jonas Knudsen are both capable of moving inside from full-back.
– Cole Skuse is a major doubt with the quad injury which kept him out of last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday and training for most of this week.
– Paul Hurst must leave out one of his six loan players (Pennington, Donacien, Chalobah, Tayo Edun, Jordan Graham and Jonathan Walters).
– Emyr Huws has an outside chance of making the bench as he steps up his return from knee surgery but the game will come too soon for Teddy Bishop and Danny Rowe.
Norwich team news
– Daniel Farke made 10 changes to his team for Tuesday night’s 3-1 Carabao Cup win at Cardiff following last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Leeds. The likes of Dennis Srbeny (two goals), Ben Godfrey and Emi Buendia made cases for inclusion.
– Late calls will be made over Ivo Pinto (stomach cramps), Grant Hanley (shin) and Alex Tettey. Jordan Rhodes also has a knock.
– Kenny McLean is ruled out until after the international break with damage to his ankle ligaments while midfielder Mario Vrancic is not ready to return from an injury to his pelvis.
City star man
While much of the derby day attention will surround Jordan Rhodes on his return to Ipswich, Onel Hernandez has been the biggest bright spot of City’s season so far. The Cuban-born German is a winger who has weighed in with three assists this season.
Robert Jones (Merseyside)
Ipswich Town 2 Norwich City 1
Head says draw. Heart says win. Surely it’s Town time?