'You love that feeling and love to be hated' - Why derby day brought out the best in Mo
Moritz Leitner's own "beautiful moment" in the East Anglian derby at Ipswich Town, was the best way possible to send Norwich City into the international break.
It’s now 11 derbies and counting since the Canaries were beaten by their fiercest rivals, and Leitner was only too pleased to deliver his first goal for the club in time to earn a point off Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
“If I just think about that moment, it is really amazing for me – and even for the whole team it’s a nice feeling when we score, whoever it is,” said Leitner.
“But personally, it’s a beautiful feeling to score here in an away game in front of 2,000 of our fans.
“I’ve played in a lot of derbies, with Dortmund against Schalke, even with the younger lads for my home club, 1860 Munich.
“Derbies are beautiful games. You love that feeling and love to be hated. They are completely different games and you have to be prepared for other things – to get kicked, to get booed off the other supporters, take their hate and use it.
“But I really loved it and if I’m honest, if I watch our fans here, it’s just beautiful. You see the atmosphere from them, even in an away derby, it was really nice.
“It’s a little bit disappointing we couldn’t give them the full present, but a derby is always a little bit special and we have to take it.”
Leitner’s first goal came in his 20th appearance since originally joining from Augsburg on loan at the start of the year – a deal made permanent in the summer.
And while assists and goals are generally in demand from the 25-year-old now he has settled on playing in the Championship, Leitner sees things a little less black and white.
“Everybody talks about assists and scoring; in the newspaper you always see the players who have scored and you love to write about them,” said Leitner.
“But for me, it’s not only about scoring or assists. If we work for each other, everybody will score.
“In my first three or four games I made a lot of really good chances where we didn’t score. Then I make a really big mistake at Sheffield United where I have to score or make an assist.
“Of course you want to score and want to shine, but for me it’s more important to win the games. It doesn’t matter if I score, if Grant (Hanley) scores, Max (Aarons), Onel (Hernandez)… If we work together, defend together and win the game, for me it isn’t important who scores.
“Here I scored, we just got one point which is better than zero. But if I hadn’t scored and we had won, I’d be much more happy.
“Of course it’s a nice feeling to score and you always want to do it, but for me it’s much more important that we get good results.”
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