No derby duels for Ipswich old boys

Crystal Palace midfielder Darren Ambrose insists the Eagles' Ipswich old boy network is only interested in vital Championship points rather than reviving East Anglian rivalries ahead of tomorrow's game against Norwich.

Ambrose is one of five former Town men poised to be included in Palace's squad at Selhurst Park as Dougie Freedman's outfit try to pull away from the relegation zone and dent City's promotion push.

The former England Under-21 player dumped City out of the FA Cup on his last meeting with City when playing for Charlton back in 2009 – but he has the utmost respect for Paul Lambert's side.

'They are flying – a quality side with quality players,' he said. ' I think they have the balance just right with a big man up front and the likes of Wes Hoolahan playing in and around. Wes is a good player. I was with him at Ipswich when he was a youngster, so I know what a danger he can be. It has the makings of being a good game, but it's just important we beat them.

'It doesn't matter who it is against although we have quite a few ex-Ipswich boys – Garvs (Owen Garvan), David Wright, Pablo (Counago), Lewis Price and myself.

'We beat them at Carrow Road earlier in the season when I wasn't involved. That was a good result for us and we are confident we can do it again and get the points to help us climb that table.

'I remember we played them in pre-season before they went into League One. I had to watch that game but I had no doubt they would win the league. They beat us and passed us off the park so you could see they would be a force in that league and they have carried it on.'

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Ambrose is Palace's talisman on home turf this season and he knows his unbeaten run must continue tomorrow.

'It's a massive game for us and we have to start winning matches to pull away from the bottom three,' he said. 'There is a pressure when you are down there.

'You can't help coming in after games and looking for the results of the other sides around you and in the last few weeks they all seem to have been picking up points.

'That has been frustrating. We just have to try and relax. We will have to battle but I am convinced we can push up the table and with the group of players we have we'll be alright.

'I wouldn't say we'll be in and around the play-offs but I don't think we'll have anything to worry about at the end of the season.

'When I was at Charlton we were down there most of the season and it can be tough to turn it around.

'We know what we have to do now, there are plenty of games left and it's about stringing a few wins together.'

New Eagles' boss Freedman has already made his mark since succeeding George Burley at the turn of the year with four points from six at home. Freedman has also enticed Everton striker James Vaughan to return on loan until the end of the season.

'The manager is a legend at Palace,' said Ambrose. 'It might be his first time as a coach in his own right but he knows what he wants and he has put his ideas across.

'It is a fresh approach and the boys are all enjoying working with him.

'We got a point against Bristol City in our last game and felt we should have won that one but it has given us a platform.

'We've brought in Steffen Iversen, Jermiane Easter and now James has come back and hopefully they will chip in with the goals we need to get us away from the bottom end.'