Teething problems for derby rivals

DERBY games are always fought tooth-and-nail but for two adversaries Sunday's clash will be a painful affair followed by a trip to the dentist.

DERBY games are always fought tooth-and-nail but for two adversaries Sunday's clash will be a painful affair followed by a trip to the dentist, writes Derek Davis.

Ipswich Town's Tommy Miller has been suffering from wisdom teeth problems all season and is need of another operation, which he is trying to put off until the summer.

Norwich midfielder Gary Holt will ignore the pain from an infected tooth to make his 50th consecutive appearance for Norwich City on Sunday.

Holt needed to take painkillers before and after Tuesday's goalless draw with West Brom but will go through it all again before making an overdue visit to the dentist.

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He said: "The tooth has had work done on it in the past – but it needs to come out. It's infected right deep down in the root."

"I've had the problem for a couple of weeks now and I need to get it sorted out. As soon as the Ipswich match is out of the way I'll be going to see the dentist.

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"I'm just having to make do with painkillers at the moment. At times it's very painful, at times it's not so bad – but I haven't experienced any problems out on the pitch. I think the adrenaline kicks in then.

"But I can certainly feel it after the games, when I come into the warm after being out in the cold. I'm sure anyone who has had a bad toothache will know what I mean."

Holt has missed just one match since the start of the 2001-02 campaign. He played 88 matches on the trot, without even being substituted, before missing the 1-0 defeat at Gillingham last February through injury – and is currently on a run of 49 consecutive starts. The tenacious Scot is proud of those statistics, and is keen to maintain his record until the end of the season, when his contract comes up for renewal.

Holt is trying to ignore the Norfolk/Suffolk rivalry, insisting it is just another three points towards automatic promotion.

He said: "I'm not too steeped in the East Anglian derby traditions because I'm not from round here – Kilmarnock v Ayr was the derby I was brought up with as a player – but I know how much it means to the fans.

"As far as we are concerned it's just another big game. We got one big game out of the way against West Brom and now we've got another one to concentrate on.

"The boys are grinding out the results at present and hopefully we can do that again on Sunday."

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