Aidy wants to forget hype and focus on match
Chris Lakey Aidy Boothroyd believes Norwich and Colchester can shrug off the controversy surrounding what could be a 'defining moment' in both teams' seasons tomorrow. The build-up has contained almost every ingredient possible, but it's what happens on the pitch, in front of a full-house 10,000 crowd at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, that matters.
Aidy Boothroyd believes Norwich and Colchester can shrug off the controversy surrounding what could be a “defining moment” in both teams' seasons tomorrow.
The build-up has contained almost every ingredient possible, but it's what happens on the pitch, in front of a full-house 10,000 crowd at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, that matters.
The bare facts are: City, in second, are six points and two places ahead of Colchester who have two games in hand. The importance of the game to both sides is obvious.
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The side issues are:
t Colchester beat City 7-1 at Carrow Road on the opening day
- 1 Canaries not pursuing Spurs defender; Billing latest
- 2 Norwich City issue face masks advice to fans
- 3 City boss raises the bar ahead of Carrow Road return
- 4 City release 2021/22 squad numbers
- 5 Norwich City transfer rumours: Talks held with United full-back
- 6 Canaries visit a matter of pride for Gills boss
- 7 City recruitment chief to join Boro
- 8 Balance of risk and reward for Norwich legend at Swansea
- 9 Get ready for 'new, improved' VAR, City fans
- 10 STARTNG XIs: Gibson and Giannoulis return for City against Gills
t City sacked Bryan Gunn five days later - and then appointed Colchester manager Paul Lambert
t Colchester's compensation bid for Lambert and his management team has resulted in a war of words between the two clubs
Boothroyd is almost an innocent bystander in the domestic dispute, but even he knows it can't be regarded as “just another game”.
“Every game is an important game and every game we look to go out and win, but obviously as we have more people coming here it shows you it is a bigger game,” he said.
“And it's a bigger game for us because it's a derby, because of the result at the start of the season - which will be fresh in Norwich's minds and they will want to put right - the manager that was my predecessor is now at Norwich. So there are all sorts of interesting angles. I used to be at Norwich, so there are all sorts of personalities involved.
“And there's a little bit of previous involved - there's a little bit of previous on-going, if that makes sense.
“So it's exciting, but for me it is a football match, it is a match that we want to win because we have two games in hand on Norwich and they're six points better off than us.
“It may be a defining moment for us and for them, who knows. For us we have to make sure we don't get all excited about the occasion. When we have had big games in the past we've dealt with them well and we will be looking to do the same.”
There have been times in recent weeks when the fixture has been in danger of being overshadowed by the controversies - and the vocal views of the Us' first sell-out home crowd since the stadium opened in August, 2008 is unlikely to change that, with Lambert sure to be under fire from the home fans from minute one.
“I don't think people will be pointing at me, I don't think I've done anything wrong,” laughed Boothroyd.
“I think that adds to the spice of the game really. I think Paul's decision to leave is Paul's decision and you have to respect that.
“At the same time I respect (Colchester chairman) Robbie Cowling's views on the situation and I let them two get on with it.
“For me I am not particularly bothered about Paul Lambert and what Paul Lambert does. I am more interested in what we do and what I do. I don't tend to get too involved in that. I do look for Norwich's results, for two reasons: one, because I have an affinity with the place, and, two, because they are our rivals. They are the two reasons I look at it, not to see what any other manager is doing.”
City will have 1,900 fans for their first game at the ground, but Bothrooyd wants a legacy from the game. “I think they will play a massive part and I am thrilled it's the first time we have had a sell-out, but what I don't want it to be is like one of those big cup games where everybody comes and talks about it and doesn't come again,” he said.