Cameron Jerome out to be a Norwich City derby hero at Ipswich Town
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Cameron Jerome already has a special place in derby folklore and the Norwich City striker would love to write a fresh chapter in tomorrow's Championship trip to Ipswich.
Jerome scored the final goal to seal City's aggregate play-off semi-final success in the last meeting between the bitter rivals back in 2015, before notching at Wembley to help seal a Premier League return.
The 30-year-old knows what lies in store at Portman Road against a home side desperate for revenge.
'Me personally, I thrive under this pressure,' he said. 'I think it is fun and exciting. It is the only thing anyone wants to talk about. You see someone in the street and they tap you on the back and say 'make sure you are ready for Sunday,' and you are like 'Yeah, I am.'
'You want to play in the big games and you should look forward to that as a player. I got the goal at home in the play-off game to get us to Wembley and I know there have been a few centre forwards down the years who have had a good record against Ipswich. Hopefully I can add to that again.'
Jerome is no stranger to the unique demands of a derby.
'It is quite intense and since I joined the club Norwich have had the upper hand,' he said. 'I played in the Birmingham and Aston Villa one and that is quite intense because it is an inner-city one. This has a different feel to it but it still has all the feelings of a proper derby.
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'I know it will be a daunting task to go down there and try to get a result because they are desperate to beat us. They say form goes out of the window and we have to be aggressive, play our game and hope our football comes through in the end. It has all the ingredients to be a special game.
'You can either be excited by it or crumble and go into your shell. Home advantage can help but if the fans are on your back that can hinder you as well. It is two teams, one day, and who plays best. I have played there a couple of times down the years but obviously it is a bit different going as a Norwich player.'
Jerome expects Town boss Mick McCarthy to have his troops fired up.
'Mick will be using that run as motivation,' he said. 'I really like Mick. He seems a genuine bloke, his teams are organised, honest, hard-working and he has achieved a lot in terms of promotions and for me in this league he is probably one of the managers who is a little bit under-rated.'