Bring it on, says ex-Tractor boy

Striker Alan Lee insists not every Ipswich Town fan will be giving him a rough ride when he runs out at Portman Road for Norwich City tomorrow.The 30-year-old said Town followers he had spoken to had been supportive about his loan move from Crystal Palace to Carrow Road last month.

Striker Alan Lee insists not every Ipswich Town fan will be giving him a rough ride when he runs out at Portman Road for Norwich City tomorrow.

The 30-year-old said Town followers he had spoken to had been supportive about his loan move from Crystal Palace to Carrow Road last month.

He said: “I scored a lot of goals for them and, to be honest, the response I've had from Ipswich fans since I signed for Norwich, everyone I have met has been totally positive and really happy for me.

“I still know plenty of the lads and still stay in touch, as you do with all your old colleagues, but I can't wait to get out there on Sunday.


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“People leave football clubs, it's just football. There's no point in getting angry about it or worked up. That's life, that's the way football goes, but I think the fans knew I gave 100 per cent for them and they appreciate that.”

Even so, he said he would not be worried if sections of the crowd turned against him tomorrow.

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He said: “It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm looking forward to getting back there. I feel so good at the moment I can't wait. I wished the game was on Tuesday, straight after the last game.

“I feel particularly confident and I've not played as many games as I have in previous seasons, so there's still something left in the tank.

“I expected a bit of hype all right, but I am prepared for it. But it's important now we all think about the game and how we are going to perform.

“I think there is always an extra bit of spice in these games, but as for the importance factor it's crucial, no matter who we're playing, it's so crucial.

“And we'll know how the other teams did going into the game and hopefully that will help us or give us a lift, so fingers crossed.”

Referee Neil Swarbrick will have the job of keeping the peace on the field and though Lee has been booked three times in four City outings and had one or two disagreements with officials, he appreciates they have a difficult task in the heat of a derby match.

He said: “Like any game of football I'm sure it's a very hard job to do - you are trying to control 22 men who are running round trying to do their best and it all gets heated. I think early on there might be some tackles flying in and I think it's important for referees not to go booking people too early. Sometimes it can spoil the game, but I suppose the key is to try to let it flow.

“In these derbies there is a lot of needle, but it doesn't change how you approach things. You might have a conversation before or certainly afterwards, but when you're out on the pitch you don't have time to think about anything else but your game.”

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