Luke Hyam: I’ve been educating the squad about the importance of the East Anglian derby

Ipswich Town's Luke Hyam

Ipswich Town's Luke Hyam

Ipswich born-and-bred Luke Hyam has taken it upon himself to educate his Blues team mates about the importance of the East Anglian derby.

The 22-year-old former Northgate High School pupil sat in the stands as Norwich City thumped Town 4-1 at home and 5-1 away on their way to promotion three years ago.

Tomorrow the fixture returns, in a televised lunchtime match at Portman Road (12.15pm), and Hyam can’t wait to finally fulfil a boyhood dream.

“I’ve been in the first team squad for four years now and never played in one so I’ve waited a long time for this moment,” said the tenacious midfielder.

“I’ve been saying to a few of the lads that they don’t realise how big a game this is. They think it’s an hour and a half away and they don’t understand it.

“I’ve explained that it is one of the biggest derbies maybe in England. Tommy Smith has been here a number of years too (he played in the 4-1 loss at Carrow Road in 2010) and it’s been us two going on about this match. I think the lads are slowly coming to terms with how big it is.”

Hyam continued: “It was gutting for us and the fans when we last played them. To lose like that to any team hurts, but for it to happen against Norwich just rubbed salt in the wounds. Now we just want to make it up to the fans.

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“As soon as they got relegated I tweeted about the game and got a few bites from Norwich fans so that was all good. It’s fair to say they’re not my favourite team!

“A few of my mates have said ‘just don’t get sent off’. All the lads have got to try and keep their calm.

“The closer the game gets the more people stop you in the street and remind you how important it is.

“They’re a good team with a lot of Premier League quality players, but we’re quietly confident we can really push for the play-offs this year. I can’t wait.”

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