‘We are the better team. Now we have to show it’ - Norwich City captain’s derby rallying call

Nelson Oliveira stoked up the derby date. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Nelson Oliveira stoked up the derby date. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ivo Pinto wants Norwich City to do their talking on the pitch against bitter rivals Ipswich Town in Sunday’s Championship derby.

Pinto and his head coach Daniel Farke both backed Nelson Oliveira when they spoke to the media on Friday afternoon after his comments City is the better club helped stoke up the rivalry over recent days.

Town skipper Luke Chambers sought to put Oliveira in his place by way of a retort, but the man who will lead out the Canaries is downplaying the verbal spats after noting Chambers’ right of reply.

“Yes, we saw those comments a little bit. This happens when you play this game,” said Pinto. “I don’t know if he is a bit nervous. We’ll wait for Sunday and see who is the better team. I said we are the better team. I didn’t say we are the better club. I feel we have the better quality but we have to show that inside the game. It is normal, we know Nelson.

“He is a passionate guy who had just scored that special goal and he then gives an interview. It was normal for him to say that. I don’t think it was a bad thing. He just wants to win. He feels we are better but he knows we have to show it. It is not a big storm. We don’t need to make a big storm of that.”

Farke adopted a similarly diplomatic tone in defence of his striker.

“Nelson is a passionate guy,” he said. “When you score an unbelievable, emotional equaliser in the 96th minute and then 10 minutes or so later you are asked questions when you still have goosebumps and feel that passion. Maybe he was too emotional but that is what we all want to see.

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“You can be sure I am full of respect for this derby and all my players are.

“We know it will be a hard task, a big struggle. For sure, he is one of our players and it is normal he feels he is totally at the right club. I am convinced I am at the right club.

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“We are looking forward to playing this game and to prove we are the better team.

“It was perhaps a little bit emotional but not disrespectful. He is a good guy, he knows there are good players at Ipswich and Mick McCarthy is an experienced coach. But we want to win this game.”

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