Ipswich Town derby hero out to put one over Canaries again
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen insists he’ll be playing for the fans in Sunday lunchtime’s East Anglian derby against Norwich City at Portman Road (12pm ko).
The Danish left-back – nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’ by team-mates due to his fierce competitive nature – enjoyed his first taste of the cross-border rivalry last season, scoring in both of the 1-1 draws against the Canaries and celebrating wildly with the travelling fans at Carrow Road.
“It was so natural for me to do that because I can just feel how much the derby means to them,” he explained.
“I went out for a beer that night and some lads came over and were singing my name. It was quite crazy. I think people knew who I was before, but when I scored that first goal against Norwich I got mentioned more in the town and definitely a lot more after the second goal.
MORE: The pressure is firmly on Ipswich Town, says Paddy Davitt“That’s what football is all about – it’s about the passion. I love those moments. That’s what you live for, that adrenaline kick when you are winning and scoring and making people happy. That’s the best feeling.
“To celebrate with the fans is important because, without the fans, football is not the same.
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“The supporters are the ones who pay my wages. When I was a kid I went to games and I always enjoyed seeing the passion. I know it’s not just about that, fans want to see quality too, but it’s half of the game really.
“So definitely, when I put the shirt on I play for the club and I play for the fans. Even more so in games like Sunday.”
MORE: The great debate - our writers have their say on the derbyHe continued: “People started talking to me about this game weeks ago. Everyone keeps reminding us that it’s a long time since Town have won a game against Norwich (2009), so why not do it on Sunday with a winning goal from me this time!
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The 25-year-old added: “I hope the fans come to the stadium and make some noise because when it is a good crowd it does give something extra to the team – we saw that against Newcastle last season and in the game against Norwich. If the fans can gives us an extra five or 10 per cent lift then we will have a better chance to win.”