Norris’ relief that pressure is off Town

DAVID Norris today revealed his relief that the pressure is off the Blues going into the new season.

This time last year expectation levels were sky high and Norris, who captained Town in Saturday’s 1-0 friendly defeat at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, admits he is happy for the team to be Championship underdogs this time around.

“The expectations were too much last year and the players were just as convinced as the fans that it would be a good season,” said Norris.

“We found that we couldn’t live with the pressure and we have learned our lesson.

“This time we want to do our talking on the pitch.

“After a dreadful start to 2009/10 we must focus on putting this right and although we are not fancied to do as well as most clubs in the division we are confident that we will have a much better campaign.”

There was little evidence of this during a first half in Eindhoven when Ipswich were played off the park and could easily have been 4-0 down.

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But after a few substitutions by both sides the visitors came back into the game without ever looking as though they would match their opponents for quality.

A 1-0 defeat was not the end of the world, and Norris agreed pointing out the importance of continuing to experiment with new formations.

“We want a new string to our bow, and not be predictable,” he added.

“Playing 4-3-3 is new to the lads and it will take time, but we have the players who can do it and with a few tweaks here and there it can be a system we can use at different times.

“It was a good work-out against top quality opponents and in the first half when they had the ball it was very difficult to get it back.

“Perhaps we gave them too much respect at the start, as in the second half we came into the game.”

Home keeper Andreas Isaksson, formerly of Manchester City, did not have a serious shot to save. But this did not unduly surprise Norris.

He said: “Against a team as good as PSV we knew we weren’t going to have many opportunities to score

“This is an aspect of our game that we have to work on and improve.

“It contributed to our downfall at the start of last season, and when the chances do come along we must make the most of them - and of ensuring that we put in a telling final ball.

“We have the same squad as last year and will benefit from that and it was an honour for me to captain the team in Jon Walters’ absence at a ground where Sir Bobby Robson is held with as much respect as he is at Portman Road.”

And Norris was quick to thanks Town fans who made the journey across the North Sea.

“It was unbelievable to see so many and after paying a lot of money to support us it is only right that we show our appreciation.”

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