It's a great time to play Town – Eadie
Norwich old boy Darren Eadie would trade derby day disappointment for Championship survival ahead of Sunday's Ipswich clash. Eadie experienced Portman Road pleasure and pain during his seven year Carrow Road career but the fans' favourite is now only interested in City's attempts to complete a great escape.
Norwich old boy Darren Eadie would trade derby day disappointment for Championship survival ahead of Sunday's Ipswich clash.
Eadie experienced Portman Road pleasure and pain during his seven year Carrow Road career but the fans' favourite is now only interested in City's attempts to complete a great escape.
“I can't remember a bigger derby,” he said. “Certainly in my time we never played them this late in the season. Obviously there's pride from being the top dog in East Anglia at stake but given where Norwich is in the table and the situation they are in I would take losing to them and staying up. Who cares at the end of the day, you know?
“I would rather have that than going down. Of course it would put the icing on the cake to do both but it doesn't matter who we play now - we just need to win. I really feel if they could win it might be decisive because they'll have the momentum. Derby games at any stage of the season can be turning points, let alone in this sort of situation. If it goes the other way and they get tanked or don't perform particularly well then confidence is going to be low for the Reading game.”
Eadie believes City have caught the Tractor Boys at the perfect time with Ipswich boss Jim Magilton under mounting pressure following the club's failed play-off push.
“I think this is a great time to play them,” he said. “Derby games can go either way but I don't think Ipswich are performing particularly well at the minute. They were probably hoping to build on last season and it hasn't happened. I'm sure Jim Magilton is feeling the pressure so if Norwich did win it could makes thing even tougher for him. By the same token this game is all Ipswich have got left to play for so everybody knows they'll want to salvage some pride.”
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Eadie's abiding Portman Road memories include a 5-0 humbling in February 1998 although the former City trainee exacted swift revenge with his part in Craig Bellamy's match-winner the following season.
“I remember putting Erik Fuglestad in and he crossed for Craig Bellamy to score that day,” said Eadie.
“But that 5-0 drubbing was a strange one because my own record against them was always pretty good. Sometimes you get that against certain clubs.
“I remember a Chinook helicopter landing on the pitch before kick-off and I don't know what that was all about, but it was bizarre. Then we we're 3-0 down after about 20 minutes - which was game over. It was horrendous. The other game I remember is Gunny's kung-fu kick when we lost there a few years earlier. It's funny but I don't think we ever drew there in my time. It was either a win or a defeat.”
Eadie insists Gunn's men can draw inspiration from December's stirring 2-0 Carrow Road league victory.
“When I've been on Sky for the last three or four derbies I've actually said the games have been pretty disappointing,” he said. “That was up until the last one which was pretty good - although I'm sure the Ipswich fans wouldn't agree. Norwich played particularly well and deserved the result. This might be a decent game as well rather than the 'harem scarem' derbies you can get because both sides need something from it for different reasons.
“Ipswich losing home games to Doncaster is not where they want to be at this stage of the season and the last thing the management and players want is Norwich turning up on their own patch to complete a double.”
Eadie admits City's trials and tribulations have made tough viewing this season.
“I was thinking of going down on Sunday but I'm not too welcome, funnily enough,” he said. “I would like to take my son but it's probably not the right environment so I'll be listening to it again on the radio with my fingers crossed. I've become a bad watcher over these last few months. It's been tough this season with probably more downs than ups. It's pretty hard to believe because Norwich is a special club. They're in my heart and it affects everybody to see them struggling. You'd say Watford was a must win but they all are at this stage of the season and Sunday is no different.”