Not fit for a pub game - Norris

TRIUMPHANT Ipswich Town skipper, David Norris, admitted that Saturday’s arctic conditions were not fit for a pub game, let alone a Championship encounter.

TRIUMPHANT Ipswich Town skipper, David Norris, admitted that Saturday’s arctic conditions were not fit for a pub game, let alone a Championship encounter.

Midfielder Norris had only played on a carpet of snow once in his career, and that was for a pub team as a raw teenager.

Furthermore, unlike the Portman Road show-on-snow, during which Town kept their cool to see off Leicester City 3-0, that pub game was called off.

Fortunately, referee Stuart Attwell stuck to his guns and resisted the temptation to abandon Saturday evening’s televised clash, despite halting play just before the hour mark and escorting the teams back to the dressing room for 15 minutes, to allow some frenzied snow clearing by Town’s hard-working ground-staff.

The players reappeared – perhaps against the odds – to complete the game.

“I’ve never played in anything like that before,” revealed Norris, who scored a sixth minute opener to put Town on the right tracks.

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“I played pub football in similar conditions when I was 18, for the Lord Westwood pub, and I think that was called off!

“For the first five minutes it was OK (on Saturday), and then I could feel it getting pretty hard underneath.

“But because there was so much snow falling, that helped to soften the pitch and not make it dangerously slippy.

“Once we were going in (returning to the dressing rooms after 58 minutes), I thought that was it. That was the referee’s chance. If he was going to call it off, then I thought he would do it then.

“It was not going to get any better in 10 minutes; if anything it was going to get worse. So I didn’t expect us to come back out.

“Yet once we did, I didn’t expect it to be called off. It would have been a difficult decision for the ref to call it off, when we were 3-0 up.

“Now I guess we’ll have to have a whip-round for the groundsman,” joked Norris, with reference to Town’s head groundsman, Alan Ferguson.

A brace from Jason Scotland, on 27 and 39 minutes, sealed Town’s win over disgruntled Leicester.

Norris revealed the tactics of Leicester’s whinging players.

“They were non-stop chatting to the referee. They were saying things like - “it’s a shambles,” “you’re a joke” and “it’s got to be called off,” said Norris.

“But we were in his ear doing the opposite, like - “there’s only 15 minutes left” and “don’t get sucked in by what they’re saying.””

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