Old Farm derby with £60million at stake

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton has issued a rallying call to fans ahead of an East Anglian derby that could see Town's £60m Premier League dream snatched away by their fiercest rivals.

Craig Robinson

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton has issued a rallying call to fans ahead of an East Anglian derby that could see Town's £60m Premier League dream snatched away by their fiercest rivals.

If Norwich City leave Portman Road with three points tomorrow afternoon then it would all but drive the final nail into the Blues' promotion coffin and with it any dreams of bagging a multi-million pound jackpot.

So tomorrow is about more than just bragging rights, it could prove a decisive moment in both clubs' seasons, as a Canaries victory would see them take a giant step away from the trapdoor to League One and virtually guarantee their safety for next season.

However should Magilton's men win they will keep their promotion chances alive, along with those of the £60m windfall a return to the top-flight would provide.

“The games against Norwich are fantastic occasions for the supporters and players alike,” said Magilton. “Local bragging rights are up for grabs and the fans create a wonderful atmosphere.

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“There's no hiding the fact that tomorrow's match is massive in more ways than one and we need three points to keep us fighting for the play-offs.

“I want a real performance form the players - one I know they can give. I want a display full of tempo, full of energy and full of desire - if I get that then I will back them all the way, win or lose.

“The supporters, as always, will have a part to play and I am sure they will get right behind the team.”

The intriguing sub plots of tomorrow's Old Farm derby have not been lost on the fans, who know there is a lot more at stake than just local bragging rights.

Elizabeth Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said the match was a must win.

“I think it's probably a more important game for Town because if we lose then that could be the end for our promotion hopes,” she said. “It's extremely tight at the top but we've still got two away games at Preston and Wolves to play so I'd be very surprised if we could do it.”

Phil Ham, editor of Those Were the Days fanzine, said: “Ipswich are very much in the last chance saloon. Anything other than a win will cement both sides position in the Championship for next season.

“We might sneak into the Premier League through the back door but it's a slim chance - especially as the teams around us have more games to play and are currently in better form.”