Ipswich have hardly been close to Norwich in all the years since they last won – but let's be honest, they are big favourites to win on Saturday.

They are on their own patch, where they’ve been nearly untouchable, scoring plenty of goals and they've a confidence about them. It doesn't matter if they go a goal behind, they know they're capable of picking results up, even if they are 2-0 down.

This is probably the best chance that they will have had in that period to win a game.

For Norwich, it wasn’t the perfect six points from two home games going into the derby, but four from two isn’t the end of the world by any means. Even though Norwich sit in 11th place in the Championship they are still just three points behind Sunderland in sixth - not far at all!

On the other hand, Ipswich did get six points from what I thought would be two tough away games and now have won their last four. In fact, they’ve won their last eight at Portman Road and have the best home record in the division.

Even though they're not showing it at the minute, the pressure is on Ipswich because they made this great start. Everybody's talking about them, they’re second in the league. They’re looking over their shoulder because Leeds keep churning out the results. So there's a lot of pressure on Ipswich. I think a lot of people, even at the start of the season, thought they would finish top six.

Ipswich didn’t even win League One, that honour went to Plymouth, so Town have taken to life in the Championship like ducks to water.

But one thing that would concern me is I don't think they've got the strength in depth that some of the other teams have got. Once they start picking up a couple of injuries to key players… what happens if Nathan Broadhead gets injured, what happens if Conor Chaplin gets injured? Who comes in to take their place?

They’ve got the young boy Luke Woolfenden, who's Ipswich through and through, a local boy, and I think he's been a big influence on the team – ‘it's my club, it's my town’.

They don't look like blowing up, and even if they did – look at the blip they had recently with one win on four, from which they have picked up - I would still expect them to finish in the top six now, whatever happens.

Does it all change for the derby though? Yes, of course.

I remember going down in 2002, when I scored two. We’d had a shocker of a season and they were flying, they were going for promotion. We'd been written off and probably rightly so. Not that we didn't feel pressure, because there's always pressure in these games because you know what it means to everybody, it wasn't a free hit or it didn't matter what the result was, no one expects you to win. Because you can't feel like that in a derby because it's massively important to the whole city, the whole football club, the whole of Norfolk. They are different, from the minute you get up. It's probably the one game where, living in Norfolk, you don't have to go the day before, which is always nice.

You get to the ground two hours down, an hour and 45 minutes before kick-off. There's loads of Ipswich fans there, waiting for you already, shouting like they do, giving you a bit of stick. They’re good games to play in and for some reason, I did really well in derbies – I scored in the majority of the ones I played in.

The 2-0 when I scored both – that was a good day. Mike Milligan probably played the best game of his Norwich career. He was magnificent on the day. Bryan Hamilton was our manager, taking us back to Portman Road, he’s a big bluenose obviously. And my son Ben was at the game. You've got that little corner of 2,500 fans – they were the only voices we could hear. The first goal was a little bit fortunate. The second one is probably up there in my top three best goals I have ever scored, not just for Norwich but in my career and to get two goals against Ipswich…

It was a great feeling, running towards the Norwich fans, knowing that I'd scored two goals, but still a lot of time to go by the way. It's not as if the game was done and dusted, we could have had a couple more. Chris Llewellyn had a one-on-one with Richard Wright and Lee Marshall had a good chance. So we could have put four or five past them on the day. But I would love to have scored down here against them. They were the only goals I scored against them.

I never scored for Wales - that hurts me. And it hurts me that I never I never scored against Ipswich at Carrow Road, because I would have gone absolutely mad.


I do go back to Portman Road because of my job in the media – I’m not being funny, but I think I'm the only person in Norfolk who was over the moon when they won promotion last season – because it’s a local game for me.

I get such a such a good reception – you go into the cabin to pick your tickets up and I was with two BBC colleagues who've gone in first and they've asked their names, they’ve given them as well as mine, and as soon as the first two have gone in, the lady slammed the door in my face… but then laughed and said ‘I'm only joking’. And there's a really nice gentleman who works on the press side, honestly, they're so friendly. They couldn't make me feel more welcome if they tried.

I love going back there. It’s a proper football stadium.

There'll be some atmosphere there this weekend because they've got a belief, they can't wait for this one because they’ve taken 13 years of stick. You’ve got Hucks on social media giving it to them …  I'll tell you what, if I was Hucks, and Ipswich beat Norwich, I wouldn't go anywhere near my Twitter for about a year!

And what does the result, whichever way it goes, do for David Wagner?

I think a win would win him more support. He has lost fans, there's so many that want him gone. You read things like ‘have they sacked him yet’. A win could be massive for him. I wouldn’t say a win could save his Norwich career because at the minute he looks as if he's okay, but a win against your local rivals, it could be absolutely monumental for him.

And not just for him, for the whole club. I just get the sense that even with the recent half decent points record, there’s still a bit of doom and gloom around the place. But you win this one a lot of that dark cloud, a lot of that negativity, I think, will start disappearing and I think more belief will come into the club going into going into the new year and January, where, hopefully, he might be able to do a little bit of work in the transfer market.

It's the game - when the fixtures come out in the June, it’s the first two games that Norwich fans and Ipswich fans look at.