The good wishes derby

IPSWICH manager Jim Magilton today admitted that he hopes his Norwich opposite number Bryan Gunn will prove a success in the hot seat at Carrow Road.

Elvin King

IPSWICH manager Jim Magilton today admitted that he hopes his Norwich opposite number Bryan Gunn will prove a success in the hot seat at Carrow Road.

But not until after Sunday's Coca-Cola Championship East Anglian derby at Portman Road (kick-off 12.45pm).

Gunn followed the same pattern into management as Magilton, although there was a sizeable gap between ending his playing days with the Canaries and taking over team affairs.


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Magilton played in what turned out to be Joe Royle's last game in charge of the Blues at Plymouth in May 2006 - and within a few weeks he was named Town manager.

After a season that has seen Ipswich go backwards on the field despite spending around �12million on the recruitment and salaries of a dozen players, Magilton needs to beat Norwich to get doubting fans back on his side.

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Because of the occasion, he and his players will get full backing from the 26,000 Town supporters expected to be in the cauldron that will be Portman Road on Sunday.

But things could turn nasty if the relegation-threatened Canaries take a grip on the game.

Reflecting on former City goalkeeper and backroom worker Gunn, who took over from Glenn Roeder after Norwich won the Norfolk leg of this season's East Anglian battles, Magilton said: “Bryan has done a great job since taking over and he's a top bloke.

“He's Norwich through and through, having been at the club as a player and then on their staff for many years.

“Bryan has watched managers come and go at Carrow Road and felt that it was the right opportunity for him to take on the job. I wish him well - after Sunday.”

Magilton is looking forward to Sunday's lunchtime feast, and he added: “I relished derby day as a player and I do now as a manager.

“It's a massive occasion for everyone connected with the two clubs and particularly for supporters.

“Bragging rights are up for grabs and the stadium, whether it be here or at Carrow Road, is always rocking.

“As a player you don't need any added motivation for the game and I'm sure we will be in for a cracking 90 minutes.

“Norwich are fighting for their lives, which makes them a very dangerous opponent, and they will be boosted by a good win on Monday against Watford.”

Town full-back David Wright is out for the season after aggravating a hamstring injury at Bristol City on Monday.

Fellow full-back Moritz Volz will also miss the City game and Jon Walters remains a big doubt. Kevin Lisbie and Gareth McAuley are also still receiving treatment.

Town physio Matt Byard said: “David has a muscle tear and you are looking at being out for two to three weeks with that, so effectively he won't play again this season.”

Volz has had another injection on his groin problem and, although he is out this weekend, is likely to be available for the game at Cardiff and the Coventry home match, the final game before he returns to Fulham after his loan spell.

Lisbie picked up a dead leg at Bristol, while Walters aggravated his ankle problem and McAuley has been out with a hamstring injury. Byard added: “Jon had a scan on Tuesday and there are indications of bone bruising.

“We've had discussions with a specialist and will see how Jon progresses over the next two days. He has not been ruled out for the derby. It will probably come down to how he feels, maybe as late as the morning of the match.

“We will make a late decision on Gareth as well. He's had two good days of light training and we will step that up today. He is scheduled to train fully on Saturday and we will see how he is from there.

“Kevin has been responding to treatment for a dead leg and hopefully he will be back in full training tomorrow.”

Keeper Shane Supple is out for the season with a knee injury picked up while on loan at Oldham.

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