Two-ton Huck has derby win in sights

DARREN Huckerby says Norwich City will be ignoring the statisticians and going flat out for wins in the Championship run-in, starting against Ipswich on Sunday.

DARREN Huckerby says Norwich City will be ignoring the statisticians and going flat out for wins in the Championship run-in, starting against Ipswich on Sunday.

City's flying winger has a personal milestone in his sights - in what could be his last season as a City player - with the trip to Portman Road set to take him to the 200 appearances mark in the yellow and green.

But Huckerby insists there's only one thing on his mind - victory against the old enemy.

A repeat of the September, 2005, visit to Suffolk when Huckerby scored the only goal of the game would be perfect, although the 31-year-old has only one thing on his mind.

“Just a win,” he said. “If we go there and get a win that will be the main thing - but if I can score as well that would be great. It's a big occasion, but it will mean nothing unless we get the win - we will be going there trying to win the game.

“It will be a difficult game. After the first one of the season, the gaffer had just come in and we were 2-0 down and we got back into the game, but I think this is a bit different - he has got his own team now.”

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Popular theory - and the history books - has it that City's current total of 52 points is enough to keep the wolf from the door as far as relegation is concerned, but Huckerby says that's not the way he views the situation with four games remaining.

“We're not safe until we're safe so we will be trying to win every game and hopefully other teams below us won't win enough games - we will try to win those games,” he said.

Such is the topsy-turvy nature of the Championship this season that while several sides have topped the table, not one has been able to dominate, with the leading clubs all suffering from inconsistency.

And that has left not just a log-jam at the bottom end of the table, but also one in the queue for promotion - and Ipswich's own hopes could suffer as a result.

Should the Tractor Boys suffer only their second home loss of the campaign on Sunday, it would leave them on 61 points with just three games to play - and even if they gained maximum points at Wolves and Preston and then at home to Hull they would still be well short of the 73.75 points average it has taken over the past 20 years to earn the sixth and final play-off position.

Meanwhile, former Canaries defender Craig Fleming, now a summariser for BBC Radio Norwich, believes Norwich players will thrive in the blue hot atmosphere of Portman Road.

“I think in a way it all goes to help them,” said Fleming. “Once the game gets started all the nerves and anxiety disappear and then it just becomes a game with a good atmosphere and that's all you look for as a player. That's what gets you going. If their fans have a go at you and stuff like that it is still good to play in.”