Norwich City boss Alex Neil craves Ipswich play-off success ahead of his Portman Road debut

Norwich City manager Alex Neil is relishing his first Portman Road visit this weekend. Photo: Stephe

Norwich City manager Alex Neil is relishing his first Portman Road visit this weekend. Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Alex Neil's first sweet taste of East Anglian derby combat left him wanting more ahead of his Portman Road debut as Norwich City boss in this Saturday's epic Championship play-off semi-final, first leg tussle.

The 33-year-old plotted Ipswich's downfall in March with a 2-0 home win maintaining the Canaries' upper hand in cross-border skirmishes.

Neil revealed at Colney on Wednesday afternoon it was the passion of the Norwich supporters which hit home to him prior to that victory, ahead of his bid to inflict another painful blow on the Blues this weekend.

'That game made me aware of just what it means. Before the last derby I had so many fans coming up to me in the street and saying you need to make sure you win this game,' he said. 'Listen, I am determined to win every match. I can assure you of that. That desire doesn't become greater because it's Ipswich. If it did then there would be a problem, but it was enjoyable and I am hoping we can replicate that on Saturday.

'I think the lads are relatively relaxed at the moment.

'The anticipation of the game is building up but I don't think we will get totally focused on it itself until Friday and then Saturday morning we get ourselves built up for what is coming. You can't keep that intensity up for the whole week. It would be too exhausting.'

The City chief insists there will be no hangover from Norwich's failed bid for the top two against their Suffolk rivals.

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'If you ask Derby or Wolves would they rather be in the play-offs I know what the answer would be so you have to enjoy this experience,' he said. 'We've done really well. We gave ourselves an opportunity to go up automatically and to get there we probably, on reflection, had to win every game.

'We did exceptionally well to get to that stage but now we have to go in the play-offs and we are looking at this as a second bite of the cherry.'