Grant us our wish

PUBLISHED: 17:38 18 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

No amount of experience can prepare you fully for the heat of derby battle, according to City boss Peter Grant.

Grant takes City to Portman Road as manager for the first time, but admits that derby nerves are never totally conquered.

No amount of experience can prepare you fully for the heat of derby battle, according to City boss Peter Grant.

Grant takes City to Portman Road as manager for the first time tomorrow, but admits that derby nerves are never totally conquered.

He said: “I played in 54 of them with Celtic and I still felt as nervous and excited in the last one as I did in the first. You're never really fully prepared and you know the consequences.

“People live and die sometimes with performances in derby matches. I think we've got a group of players here who know the derby match is very, very important but know the most important thing for me is the three points. “We all want to go up in the Premier League and to do that you've got to win your games. Ipswich is another hurdle in front of us.

It's another hurdle we've got to jump. It doesn't matter because it's the blue shirts that we're playing against. It's not that. It's how we play ourselves and how we prepare ourselves and you don't change our preparation just because it's a local derby.

“The biggest thing I think in derby matches is trying to have that coolness in your mind. Everybody else is het up because of the passion the derby brings. It's the ones with the cool brains on top of that who are the ones that are most successful.

“Every game has got its own importance.

Every three points you pick up along the road is three points closer to the Premier League and that's all I look at.”

He said Ipswich's poor home record so far was of no importance.

“You know the pride - all of a sudden they get the fans back onside if they beat Norwich,” he said. “If they'd won their last two or won their last 10 it won't be any different, they will be determined to win this game and this game only.”

Grant's main selection decisions will revolve around new signing Luke Chadwick and fit-again defender Gary Doherty.

Chadwick looks a good bet to make his debut, while Doherty will be hoping to return in defence, where 37-year-old Dion Dublin has performed so well in 1-0 wins over Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.

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