Subs waiting for derby call
PUBLISHED: 12:33 11 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 10 September 2010
The East Anglian derby match-winner could be sitting on the bench when Sunday's big Championship showdown kicks off. Substitutes have scored the decisive goals in the last two Portman Road meetings between Ipswich Town and Norwich City.
The East Anglian derby match-winner could be sitting on the bench when Sunday's big Championship showdown kicks off.
Substitutes have scored the decisive goals in the last two Portman Road meetings between Ipswich Town and Norwich City.
And City boss Glenn Roeder will tell those who miss out on a place in his starting eleven that one of them could still prove to be the hero of the hour.
Two seasons ago, Darren Huckerby scored the only goal in the Canaries' 1-0 win at Ipswich after replacing Dean Marney at half-time.
Last season, Town's Danny Haynes scored twice in the last 13 minutes, soon after coming off the bench in place of Billy Clarke, to clinch a 3-1 victory.
Substitutes have also contributed no fewer than seven goals for City this season, the latest coming from Ched Evans in the final minute of the 2-0 home win over Burnley, while earlier in the season Jamie Cureton - the man Evans replaced last Saturday - swiftly made up for his late arrival with the winning goal at Scunthorpe and a stunning equaliser at Watford.
Roeder reinforced the message that it's not merely an 11-a-side contest.
He said: “We have had to convince them it is very much a squad game. It's still a very small squad because we have been working with 18 players for two or three months now.
“They all want to start but they have to contain the disappointment of not starting and some of them have come on and done very well. Jamie Cureton has done it a couple of times.”
Seven substitutes can be named in the Premier League next season and although the Championship has yet to follow suit, Roeder is in favour of greater choice for managers and keeping more players involved in the first team squad.
He said: “When I started playing there was just one sub. We have five subs at the moment and I think it should be seven to give you greater variety during the game. You can still only put three on, but one of those three could be your match-winner.
“So they should all be watching the game, seeing who they might play against, looking for any weaknesses to exploit when they come on. We have to make sure the subs feel part of the team.”
City had no fresh injury problems to report yesterday, so it remains to be seen whether Roeder will change a winning line-up after Gary Doherty, Lee Croft and on-loan striker Evans all had to be content with starting the Burnley game on the bench.
Ipswich need three points to maintain their chance of a play-off place, while City have yet to guarantee their Championship place for next season.
But Roeder said: “I don't subscribe to the idea of pressure. It's all about a positive frame of mind.
“Even though the players didn't get the results their performances deserved at Sheffield United and Bristol City, they are looking forward to stepping on the coach and getting down to Portman Road.”
Roeder's first game in charge of City was the 2-2 draw at Carrow Road in November, and he would love to go one better in the return fixture.
“I've managed Newcastle to a 4-1 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light after being 1-0 down at half-time. It was a brilliant day for the players and supporters, and one of my best days as a manager,” he said.
“To win on Sunday would be just as good. In our part of the country, it is every bit as big.”