Iwan Roberts: A Norwich City win over Ipswich is the perfect excuse for a night out on the town!

Iwan Roberts celebrates after scoring his second goal in Norwich City's 2-0 win at Ipswich in March

Iwan Roberts celebrates after scoring his second goal in Norwich City's 2-0 win at Ipswich in March 2000 Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Rivalries don’t come any bigger for Norwich City than Ipswich Town.

Iwan, Iwan, what's the score - the big man celebrates after his two goals at Ipswich in 2000 Picture

Iwan, Iwan, what's the score - the big man celebrates after his two goals at Ipswich in 2000 Picture: Archant - Credit: ECN 2000

And the game on Sunday lunchtime has a bit more spice to it with Ipswich 23 places below City and 39 points behind – and, of course, they’ve now got a certain Paul Lambert in charge trying to produce a minor miracle in keeping them in the Championship.

They are great games to play in; the build-up to the game is different, the week’s training leading up to the game is different and what I mean by that is that the standard is so high with everyone wanting to start the game.

I hated the build-to the derby – it’s all everyone wants to talk to you about and you get constantly reminded that this is the game of the season, not necessarily must-win, but most definitely must not lose!

Those derby match days weren’t really enjoyable until you’d got the result you wanted. The mornings at home before I left for Carrow Road seemed to last an eternity and I’d just be thinking to myself, ‘please don’t let us lose this game’. Luckily for me, I only lost on one occasion against Ipswich.

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The walk from the old car park from behind The River End Stand (sorry I can’t get used to the new name) would take three times as long as there would be so many fans there stopping you and reminding you how important this game was. Not that we needed reminding – we knew what was at stake.

I’ve had some of the best nights out in Norwich after a derby win. The City is buzzing and everyone’s in great spirits and you get treated like heroes. Complete strangers want to buy you a pint to celebrate – and I’ve never been one to refuse a drink, but I’ve also cancelled a planned night out after a derby loss as it wouldn’t have been the wisest of decisions to have been seen out having just lost to your fiercest rivals.

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Let’s hope the lads are celebrating on Sunday night after yet another enjoyable derby day at Carrow Road.

I know the old saying that form goes out of the window in these games, but I can’t see anything but a Norwich win on Sunday to push them a bit closer to the Premier League and to heap more misery on Ipswich fans and help bring their 17-year stay in the Championship to an end.

I had a bit of a debate with some very angry Leeds fans after I said, in an interview earlier in the week, that Norwich City had totally dominated the game between the two clubs on Saturday evening.

I think it’s fair to say by their reactions they weren’t best pleased with my comments!

A few of them threw the possession and shots on target stats back at me, as Leeds had the better of both on the day, but as I pointed out, it’s what you do with that possession that counts and it’s where you’re having your shots on target from!

It’s okay having a shot from 30, 35 yards that’s tickling Tim Krul’s hands or efforts on goal that he’s throwing his cap on, but really good opportunities for Leeds to score were few and far between.

In the end I admitted that I’d probably used the wrong word when I said ‘dominated’ to describe Norwich’s performance and the words I should have used to describe their best away performance of the season should have been ‘convincing and ‘comfortable’, which is exactly what it was.

Before the Sheffield United game a couple of weeks ago I said what a big three weeks it was coming up for Daniel Farke and his players and if you’d offered me four points from their two closest rivals in the Championship I would have gladly accepted them. That’s not being negative, it just means that both Leeds and Sheffield United are kept at arm’s length from top-of-the-table Norwich.

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