‘That’s something I’ve had to learn’ – City youngster ready to face Ipswich again
PUBLISHED: 19:10 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 19:44 07 February 2019
Ben Godfrey knows all about derby day pressure, after surviving calls for a red card just four minutes after coming on at Ipswich earlier this season.
The Norwich City youngster replaced injured centre-back Timm Klose at half-time at Portman Road in September, with the score still at 0-0.
He was booked after a poor tackle on former Shrewsbury team-mate Jon Nolan in the 49th minute, with the home crowd calling for more as the atmosphere cranked up.
Town took the lead in the 57th minute when a Gwion Edwards shot deflected in off Godfrey unfortunately but the Canaries rallied and rescued a point through a fine Moritz Leitner strike 14 minutes later.
“Last year in League One, you could get away with tackles like that,” Godfrey said, reflecting on his successful loan at Shrewsbury. “I got the ball in the challenge and that wouldn’t be a free-kick last year.
“But in the Championship, they aren’t as lenient. That’s something I’ve had to learn.”
The 21-year-old has learned much since then and has started City’s last 10 league matches, including a spell covering for the injured Jamal Lewis at left-back
That was capped by a fine performance alongside Christoph Zimmermann in central defence on Saturday as Daniel Farke’s team won 3-1 at Leeds to knock their opponents off top spot in the Championship.
“As nervous as you are in a game, you’ve got to look at getting a result in pressure situations and I think that’s what we did,” Godfrey said of the victory at Elland Road.
“I think that’s why we played with such freedom. We stood up to the occasion and we played like we enjoyed it. It paid off for us.
“It was a nice change to have a bit more control over a game, compared to what we’ve had recently. I think as young lads, we’re maturing as well and that showed.
“To go to Elland Road and see out a game like that, there’s been games this season where at 2-0, you never know what could happen.
“To see that game out was such a good feeling, especially in that atmosphere as well.”
Attentions have turned to another huge game on Sunday now though, when Ipswich come to Carrow Road, with Godfrey looking likely to get another taste of the East Anglian derby intensity.
“I know how much it means to the locals around here, and as a team now, it means a lot to us too,” he concluded, speaking to City’s website.
“We’ve got to win, not just because of the occasion but the league situation as well. It will be a good atmosphere and one that I’m looking forward to.
“We’re a good bunch of lads and we’ll give 100 percent on Sunday to get the job done for the fans.”