Keeper thought he would miss derby

FOR one heart-stopping moment Neil Alexander thought he was going to miss his first really big derby match.The Blues keeper thought he was going to be sent off when he tripped Wolves forward Michael Kightly - which would have meant him being banned for the trip to Norwich on Sunday.

By Derek Davis

FOR one heart-stopping moment Neil Alexander thought he was going to miss his first really big derby match.

The Blues keeper thought he was going to be sent off when he tripped Wolves forward Michael Kightly - which would have meant him being banned for the trip to Norwich on Sunday.

Instead he was not even shown a yellow card - and went on to save Freddie Eastwood's penalty.

That inspired the Blues to their 10th consecutive home win for the first time since 1981 as goals from Alan Lee, Pablo Counago and Danny Haynes lifted Town to fourth in the Championship table.

Alexander said: “I really expected to get a red card because I can't deny I caught the lad so I feared the worst.

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“I was sold a bit short with the back pass and I couldn't help catching him.

“The save gave us all a lift - including the crowd - and it helped us.”

It was the second time in a week that Alexander had pulled off a penalty save, and both times it proved to be a turning point on the road to another Town win at Portman Road.

The first save against Colchester United was his first ever derby match and now the Scotland international is looking forward to the biggest of his career at Carrow Road.

Alexander said: “I have never really played in a proper derby match before coming here.

“When I was at Cardiff we never played Swansea, we did meet Wrexham but that was hardly a derby clash.

“The Colchester game was my first derby game to date and now the Norwich one will be my biggest ever derby match.

“This is the proper derby and I'm very much looking forward to it.

“The boys have been talking about it for a while and I have heard off them just how important it is.

“It promises to be a great atmosphere and means a lot for bragging rights so it is vital we get a result.”

Town go to Carrow Road fourth in the table with a game in hand on West Brom and Bristol City, who are directly above them.

Watford, who play Crystal Palace tonight, are eight points clear so Ipswich can't go top at Carrow Road.

Norwich will still be bottom on Sunday and further adrift if Palace and QPR win their games in hand.

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