Town derby goal hero says: ‘Goals against Norwich would see Connor go out on a high’
HAT-TRICK hero Alex Mathie today called for a new Ipswich Town derby goalscoring hero to step forward.
And his money is on 18-year-old Connor Wickham to hit the goal trail against Norwich City at Portman Road tomorrow – giving Town fans something to remember the striker by before he moves up to the Premier League in the summer.
Mathie struck three first half goals in a 5-0 trouncing of the Canaries on February 21 1998.
This immortalised him as a Blues icon as far as Town supporters are concerned, and the striker, who now does media work for BBC Radio Suffolk, says that it is time for someone else to take over the mantle.
Mathie said: “It would be a fitting way for Connor to signal the end of his Ipswich career.
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“The time is right for someone else to become an Ipswich derby hero.
“Connor is more than capable and it would see him go out on a high as he has surely got to move on in the close season.
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“He is an England Under-21 player now, and to maintain that standard he needs to be playing Premier League football.
“If a big club like Liverpool comes in then he’s got to go and better himself.
“Paul Jewell has played Connor regularly since he took from Roy Keane as Town manager, and you can see how he has improved.
“With Liverpool paying Newcastle �35million for Andy Carroll then Connor must be worth �15million to them – and that’s a fee that Ipswich would have to take.”
Mathie’s goals came in the second, 27th and 42nd minutes and he was replaced at half-time by James Scowcroft with Bobby Petta notching two second half efforts.
“It helped to get off to a flying start,” added Mathie. “And to be fair Norwich did not defend that well.
“Micky Stockwell was the real star making two of my goals while Kieron Dyer was on top of his form.”
And looking ahead to this week’s game, Mathie went on: “Grant Holt is scoring for fun and Norwich are well organised and looking for automatic promotion.
“But after their 4-1 beating at Carrow Road earlier this season Ipswich will be looking for revenge – and they are a better looking team now.
“At the time of the away fixture there was gloom and doom in the air but since then Paul Jewell has got Ipswich going.
“It’s a good time for Ipswich to play City with little really to play for and the freedom to go on to the park and give their fans what they want – a good win over Norwich.”
Carlos Edwards has been named in the Championship Team of the Week for his performance in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.