Hamilton feels Holt gives Norwich City the edge
Bryan Hamilton insists the only difference between Norwich City and Ipswich Town is Canaries skipper Grant Holt.
The former City manager and Town player has picked out Holt as the danger man when the teams meet at Portman Road tomorrow night.
Holt was nominated for the prestigious Championship Player of the Year award and on Sunday evening was named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, along with Wes Hoolahan.
While City boss Paul Lambert may baulk at singling out individuals – and City fans might disagree with their former managers view of the difference between the rivals – Hamilton is clear in his assertion of Holt's qualities.
'If he's fit to play he will be a handful,' said Hamilton.
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'He is basically the difference between the teams.
'He is a leader who holds the ball up and scores plenty of goals.
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'There is a confidence about him and he will have to be watched.'
Hamilton is a 'meeter and greeter' at Portman Road these days, and knows just how big Thursday's clash is for the Canaries.
'I was desperate for Roy Keane to do well at Portman Road as he is such a big name,' added Hamilton.
'Last close season was not one that carried any hope for Ipswich, whereas Norwich carried over their good work from the back end of last season. If Ipswich can finish showing some panache and style it will make such a difference to them.
'Norwich have such a lot to play for, but derby games have a mind of their own.
'Pride will be at stake as much as anything, but for Norwich finishing in the top two is important. The play-offs are a lottery and only okay if you win them.
'Managers and players want to get it all done and dusted so that you can go on holiday and have a well deserved break to get ready for the next level of football.'
The Northern Irishman is hoping Town can take a leaf out of City's book.
'Hope is what Ipswich never had last summer ahead of this season,' said Hamilton.
'Norwich City had it in abundance after gaining promotion from League One, and this has showed since moving up to the Championship.
'If Ipswich can finish well in their last four or five games it will be important.
'It will put them in the right frame of mind and carry momentum over to 2011/12.'