'City under more pressure than Town'
PUBLISHED: 17:11 04 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:11 14 September 2010
Ipswich boss Joe Royle started the mind games ahead of this Sunday's East Anglian derby by declaring the pressure will be on Norwich to get a positive result at Carrow Road.
Ipswich boss Joe Royle started the mind games ahead of tomorrow's East Anglian derby by declaring the pressure will be on Norwich to get a positive result at Carrow Road.
Both teams need a victory to boost their fast-fading hopes of breaking into the top six in the Coca-Cola Championship.
The Canaries have failed to live up to their pre-season billing as promotion favourites, and were thrashed 4-0 by champions-elect Reading on Tuesday night.
But with new £2.75million signing Robert Earnshaw set to make his debut against the Tractor Boys in what is sure to be an intense affair, hopes are high in Norfolk a victory over their fierce rivals can kick-start a late charge for the play-offs.
Ipswich have not won a derby since April 2003, and their supporters will still be smarting from the 1-0 defeat suffered at the hands of the Canaries on home soil five months ago.
Royle - himself once a Carrow Road favourite during his playing days - is in no doubt the emphasis will be firmly on Nigel Worthington's men to produce the goods tomorrow, in a game which kicks off at 11:15am and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
"They will be parading their new players, and the pressure is probably slightly more on them as the home side to get the three points," the former Manchester City manager said.
"I had them down as one of the clubs likely to go up at the start of the season, but for whatever reasons that has not materialised.
"It is a local derby so there is pressure on us as well, of course, to avenge the defeat at Portman Road - a defeat we did not deserve. We go into the game in confident mood and in good form."
Ipswich trio Shane Supple (virus), Gavin Williams (knee) and Jimmy Juan (heel) are doubtful for tomorrow, while midfielder Vemund Brekke Skard and forward Adam Proudlock have also felt the affects of a virus.
Worthington is likely to also hand home debuts to Jonatan Johansson and defender Zesh Rehman, who arrived on loan from Charlton and Fulham respectively.
It is, though, Wales striker Earnshaw whom the Norwich boss hopes will now provide a cutting edge in attack following the £7million sale of England Under-21 international Dean Ashton to West Ham.
"He is an out-and-out striker, a goalscorer, simple as that," the Canaries boss said.
"He has got great self-belief, great ability and he is capable of playing on his own, with or without a big man."
Worthington added: "He can score goals. That is what he wants to do, that is what we need and the big thing that we have got to make sure of is to get a supply to him and give him the support he needs and deserves."
Leading scorer Paul McVeigh (thigh) and full-back Adam Drury (virus) face fitness tests, while midfielder Youssef Safri could return to the squad after his African Nations Cup campaign with Morocco came to an end.
Carrow Road will be sold out tomorrow, and Worthington said: "Derby games are great games, the excitement it brings, the rivalry it brings.
"Matches between Norwich City and Ipswich Town are hard-fought, good games and tomorrow will be no different."