Alex Neil envies his Norwich City players ahead of Ipswich derby duel

Norwich manager Alex Neil is a firm fan of derby tussles. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Lt

Norwich manager Alex Neil is a firm fan of derby tussles. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil is jealous of his Norwich City players ahead of Sunday's epic Championship derby against Ipswich Town.

Neil retired from frontline duty when he moved south from Hamilton last month but the 33-year-old would relish being in the thick of this weekend's Carrow Road duel. Norwich will overhaul Mick McCarthy's side with a win and Neil knows the stakes are high.

'I loved derbies, they were my type of games,' he said. 'I was a whole-hearted player who got stuck in and loved the physical challenge of it. I think as a football fan coming from Scotland, the Glasgow derby stands out. People say it is the biggest in the world or one of the biggest and anyone involved in that will know about the passion. I'll be able to tell you after Sunday how big this feels.

'We know the magnitude of the game. The start will be frantic and probably not a huge amount of football played so it is a balance between making sure you are up for the fight and the battle and not getting roped into playing a game we don't want to do. You have to match them for effort but also be brave enough to get the ball down and play to our strengths.'

Neil has already told his players what it would mean to the home supporters but the Scot also remains focused on the bigger picture.

'These games are for the fans, their biggest of the season, but in terms of what is at stake in the league makes it even bigger,' he said. 'It will give you fans the bragging rights but what it will do is keep us up with the chasing pack. I have said before just because we win a game doesn't mean promotion and winning the league and the opposite wouldn't mean we fall away. We have to accept it is a huge occasion but ultimately it won't decide anything.'