Jewell has come a long way since the previous derby

Paul Jewell was playing golf in Australia when Grant Holt last put Ipswich to the sword, but he knows all about the threat posed by the Canaries hitman.

Holt hit a hat-trick at Carrow Road in November when City despatched Ipswich 4-1 – a match the Town boss watched from the other side of the world.

'I was in Australia watching that game,' he said. 'It was easy from afar to see the game slipping away from Ipswich – every mistake we made we seemed to get punished for.

'I never envisaged sitting there in Australia watching that game then a few months later I would be manager of Ipswich, but that's football.

'I was in Brisbane, I was out there for the Test match, and played golf in a place called Ipswich, would you believe, and did some coaching down the Gold Coast! Ipswich has a great course, but this town is livelier, just.


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'It obviously hurt the players and the manager at the time. People say they owe them one, but we owe ourselves more than anything else.

'I will speak to the players what went on at Carrow Road and how we can avoid it this time.'

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Holt was the undoubted star of the show the last time the teams met, and Jewell knows all about City's leading scorer.

'He has a lot of know-how, he's been around the block since starting at Barrow,' Jewell said.

'He's proved that you don't have to come from a top team to be successful at this level. He's been outstanding for them, leads the line very well, and you have to hold you hands up them and say he's one of the best strikers in this league. He's seen both ends of the spectrum and is now trying to get in the Premier League.

'He gets on things in the end of the box. Once the ball gets in the box he is on the move and is hungry. He might not be the most polished player technically, but he gives defenders a hard time and when they go off the pitch defenders know they have been in a hard game.

'He's an example to those players who play at a lower level.'

Jewell knows a lot less about his touchline rival, Paul Lambert.

'I've not come across him before, but he has done exceptionally well, with the games he won last season to get them up and carried on this season,' he said.

'I don't know if there is an another manager in the country who has a better win ratio – if there is I'll be very surprised.'

While Lambert's influence has led City to third in the table, Jewell himself has taken Ipswich out of choppy waters at the other end of the table, and with the play-offs still a possibility, albeit a slim one,

'The play-offs are still mathematically possible, but we are all realists,' he said. 'We will never give up, with 12 points to play for, but it's going to be a (Grand National race horse) Devon Loch that's going to get us into there.

'I know what derby games mean to the fans – being a Liverpool supporter growing up as a kid. It's all about trying to get Ipswich in a position where Norwich maybe are now for next season.

'I know as soon as they get the fixture lists the first thing the fans do is look for the derby games, I'm aware of that.

'But we only get three points for it. We have got to keep a cool head in the game.'

Jewell knows that means from start to the very finish, given City's famed resilience.

'Norwich are one of the great ones with that, scoring about 10 goals in injury-time,' he said.

'They have that belief that they are never beaten and they will keep going to score a goal. We are going to get that into our squad, although that doesn't happen overnight.

'It takes some time, but I think the players have done magnificently to get where we are.'

Jewell has doubts over central midfielder Grant Leadbitter, who went to hospital after a clash of heads in the 1-0 win at Bristol City at the weekend.

'I saw him on Sunday morning and he couldn't remember a lot about the game,' said his manager. 'I had to inform him that we played a lot better when he went off. He had a bad headache and he wasn't in yesterday, but hopefully he will be in today and if the doctor gives him the okay and he feels okay then he will play, but I have to say that is a doubt about him.'

Mark Kennedy trained with the physio on Monday and Tuesday but is a doubt because of a hamstring problem that has plagued him all season, while Lee Martin is suspended after he was sent off at the weekend – with Town deciding not to appeal.

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