Butterworth: Keep your heads

Assistant manager Ian Butterworth insists Norwich City must keep their heads to avoid the Championship chop - starting in the hottest hothouse atmosphere of all.

Assistant manager Ian Butterworth insists Norwich City must keep their heads to avoid the Championship chop - starting in the hottest hothouse atmosphere of all.

Sunday's East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town at Portman Road (12.45pm) is the first of three games that will determine the Canaries' fate.

After experiencing the highs and lows taking on Town in his playing days with City, Butterworth knows exactly what the current squad will have to contend with at the weekend, and says it is vital they do not let the occasion get to them as they try to plot their path to safety.

“I don't think you need to motivate anyone for this game. They will be up for the fight. It's braveheart stuff now,” said the former City skipper and centre-back.


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“But you have to play the game, not the occasion, and play with your brains as well as your heart.”

Butterworth expects Ipswich to be fired up as they seek to give their fans some late-season cheer after an indifferent run ended any play-off hopes Jim Magilton's team may have harboured.

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He said: “It's Norwich, it's a derby game, and their manager will be looking for a response after a couple of iffy results.

“They won't want to get beaten by Norwich. We know it's going to be a tough game.”

The 2-0 victory over Watford on Easter Monday lifted Bryan Gunn's men out of the bottom three once again but there is no room for error.

“There are three games to go but I'm not going to try to work out the points - we've just got to try to win every game and if we do we'll stay up,” said Butterworth.

“Monday was tremendous - a fantastic day for our supporters, and a great performance from the team who provided the spark and started really well, and played some good stuff. It was thoroughly deserved and got our confidence back ready for the big game.”

Butterworth believes City should have had at least one penalty against the Hornets on another day when decisions went against them.

He said: “We haven't had the rub of the green with decisions, but you can't make too much of it. Perhaps we'll get three penalties in the next three games!”

Gunn's right-hand man is aware that City's goal difference currently gives them the equivalent of an extra point over their rivals but will not be relying on that.

“It's true but let's hope it doesn't come down to that,” he said.

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