Foley concentrates on job for Ipswich

Sacked former Norwich coach Steve Foley has ruled out divided loyalties ahead of his first Carrow Road return with arch rivals Ipswich this Sunday.


Sacked former Norwich coach Steve Foley has ruled out divided loyalties ahead of his first Carrow Road return with arch rivals Ipswich this Sunday.

Foley's ten-year stint at the club ended last May as part of shake up to Nigel Worthington's backroom staff following the Canaries' failure to plot an instant Premiership comeback.

The Carrow Road stalwart admits the manner of his exit left a sour taste but Foley insists the priority is helping plot a Championship league double over Town's cross border neighbours.

“I'm going back there to work with Ipswich and that is it really,” he said. “I suppose it might be strange with it being the first time. There was a reserve game earlier this season, but I've not had any reason to go. I spent ten years of my life at Norwich and they were good times - it was just the last five minutes that were disappointing.

“Leaving Norwich the way I did was a little bit upsetting - with the way it was handled and hearing about it second hand. That's gone now. I still keep in touch with people at the club who want to keep in touch. I always got on well with the players and I've spoken to quite a few already this week.”

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Foley predicts a typically robust derby showdown with Ipswich plotting a third consecutive win in the East Anglian battle.

“Derbies are always games for the fans,” he said. “Form goes out of the window but with both sides so close to each other in the table that will add a little bit extra. Peter (Grant) and Jim (Duffy) are committed men who demand 100% and I expect that to rub off on the team. It'll need a good referee because there's always a great atmosphere. Norwich fans are so loyal, just like Ipswich. Whether performances are good or bad you never see empty seats and you have to respect that. It's about who plays well on the day.”

Foley admits both clubs share one common trait this season - frustrating inconsistency.

“Peter has come in and found it difficult to get a settled side,” he said. “We've hardly been able to play the same side twice all season. I know Norwich had a young team out at Burnley but we've had that problem from the start - lads like Garvan, Peters, Haynes and the keepers are only 20, 21. If you look back when Norwich and Ipswich got promoted both had experienced sides. This league tends to lend itself towards that - most of the clubs who go up have experienced pros.”

Town head to Carrow Road buoyed by a fourth win in five after last weekend's late, late show over title contenders Derby.

“Full credit to the players,” said Foley. “Once we managed to get to safety they could've just seen the season out before going on their holidays. We've still got the bit between our teeth and the players have been superb. To be fair the work ethic was there from day one. Anyone who has watched us play this season can see we've just missed that cutting edge. Norwich have a £3.5m player in Robert Earnshaw, who I know has been out for a long while, but we've spent £50,000 on Jon Walters.”

Foley is keen to prolong his own Portman Road stay after a successful first season as part of Jim Magilton's coaching team.

“I'd like to be at Ipswich ten years as well, but who knows in this game,” he said. “You can't look any further than the end of your nose. They've made me feel very welcome and the whole club has been superb. To be perfectly honest its gone better than I could have ever expected.”