Iwan in full confidence of City win

Canaries legend Iwan Roberts is predicting a derby day victory in the white hot atmosphere of Portman Road on Sunday.

Canaries legend Iwan Roberts is predicting a derby day victory in the white hot atmosphere of Portman Road on Sunday.

Roberts wrote himself into City folklore with a Portman Road double in March, 2000 and after eight years and 96 goals in the yellow and green knows all there is to know about the biggest derby in East Anglia.

“Playing at Portman road is just hostile; they hate us with a passion,” said Roberts.

“You wouldn't be able to write some of the things they have called me in the past - it was pure venom at times.

“The build-up for these games is always a tense affair, literally everyone around you is talking about it, players, staff and the fans, and it's a very passionate match.

“You even get fans coming up to you saying they don't care if you lose every other game that season just as long as you beat Ipswich.

Most Read

“As players we know the importance of the game. It can also give you the respect of the fans in just one match. If you score against your rivals they will never forget you. When I scored the goals against them in the 2-0 win I became a hero overnight - it was an amazing feeling.”

Roberts, third on City's all-time scoring hit list, featured in Midlands derby matches before moving to Carrow Road, but believes Ipswich v Norwich is unique.

“The Black Country derby between Wolves and West Brom is a similar kind of atmosphere, but they are only 15 miles apart, whereas it's about an hour's drive between Norwich and Ipswich, which just shows you the rivalry,” he said.

Norwich haven't lost at Portman Road since the infamous 5-0 drubbing back in 1998, when City boss Peter Grant was in the team, and Roberts believes the new manager's experience of the biggest British derby of them all could prove vital.

“It's going to be a great one this Sunday,” Roberts said. “It's the first time Jim Magilton and Peter Grant have faced each other as managers of the clubs they once played for, and if you ever saw them play then you'll know how passionate they are about winning.

“Grant has played in the Glasgow derby for Celtic against Rangers and they don't come any bigger than that, so I'm sure he will have a few words of wisdom to offer.

“Norwich have some good experience in their squad, Ipswich are a young team so we should have the edge. Norwich have come into a bit of form lately since suffering away at Port Vale and getting thumped at Stoke, but they bounced back, beating West Brom, and not many sides get a result there, so I think it will be Norwich to win 3-1.”

Roberts was deemed surplus to requirements at Carrow Road once the Division One Championship had been secured, but still has a great affinity with his former team and predicts a positive future.

“Norwich are still the first team I look out for ahead of all my former clubs,” he said. “The first thing I ask when I get home on a Saturday is how did Norwich get on?”