Roeder throws down the gauntlet

GLENN Roeder has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of Sunday's East Anglian derby.

Derek Davis

GLENN Roeder has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of Sunday's East Anglian derby.

The Norwich City boss has challenged his players, who sit fourth from bottom in the Championship, to respond to their better performing neighbours who occupy a top half position.

Roeder said: “I sense a real feeling of optimism that the players are looking forward to the game we had a meeting on Wednesday and spoke about a lot of things and I always feel these games bring out the best in people.”

Optimistic Roeder has even taking to quoting a rugby legend, although he didn't know his name, in order to try and fire up his players.

He roared: “I go very much along with the famous rugby guy who said the greater the challenge the greater the response and when you play in a local derby there is no greater challenge so we expect a great response.”

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Roeder has also urged the City faithful to get behind their side the way they did 13 months ago when the Canaries came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw, in one of his first games in charge.

He said: “Undoubtedly one of the things I remember from last year was the atmosphere on that occasion inside Carrow Road for the whole 90 minutes. I thought the atmosphere was electric even when we were ridiculously two goals down.

“Supporters recognise we were very unfortunate and stayed with us and gave us that lift that we needed in the second half of the game and drove us on when we could have won the game.”

Roeder, who has lost 24 and won 18 of the 56 games he has been in charge at Carrow Road, believes the Old Farm derby is up there with the Tyne/Wear encounter in terms of the depth of feeling.

He said: “The intensity that came out of the crowd is something I will always remember just like the way I remember being involved in a Sunderland Newcastle game

“To our supporters it does mean as much and to be fair it's only our supporters who count this weekend. The Norwich v Ipswich game is as big and as important to us as Newcastle v Sunderland is to the Geordies and the Mackems. Both of those games are played in front of much bigger crowds because the stadiums are bigger we could put probably another 5,000 to 10,000 in Carrow Road for this one game. These are games that you dream about being involved in.”