Spud Thornhill: Message to Norwich City fans – be loud, be proud!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Derby Day arrives yet again on Sunday – sadly, I'm yet to have that normal buzz as I would in the build-up.
Maybe Sky TV knew something we didn't when they scheduled their live games and decided against choosing this one for coverage.
But I'm sure that by the time I wake up on Sunday morning, I will have those nervous butterflies in my stomach and by the time I get to Portman Road I'll be more than ready for the game.
With both teams having poor starts it's got all the prospects for a dull 0-0. But if there's a chance for Ipswich to get their first win of the season and beat us for the first time since April 2009 – or should I say nine years, four months and 14 days or even 3,424 days – then this could be it.
Suddenly the pre-season confidence of a promising season is slowly fading away, especially after being totally outclassed last Saturday by Leeds United.
But if you think this is going to be a doom and gloom piece on the eve of the derby, you don't know me very well. There may well be a lot of changes from the midweek cup game at Cardiff, but the win in south Wales must have given us one hell of a boost.
Sunday will be my 44th East Anglian Derby and my 21st visit watching the mighty Norwich. I'm quite happy to say the overall record reads: 20 wins, 10 draws and 13 defeats. My record at Portman Road is eight wins and four draws – easily my most successful away ground.
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I have missed only one derby since 1985 – that was when there was a certain infamous incident with Bryan Gunn and a dodgy pitch.
I've had the joys of 5-1, but the despair of a 5-0 defeat; awful last-minute own goals through to a great Timm Klose moment; great moments of a last-minute penalty decision change to a few sending-offs for those Tractor Boys; and not forgetting our play-off semi-final. Oh the joys of the East Anglian Derby.
So I'm sure whatever the game throws up on Sunday, I've seen it all. Unlike some Ipswich fans, especially if they are under the age of 21 – all they've witnessed is misery after misery and, as one Ipswich fan stated after Luke Chambers scored in the 89th minute at Carrow Road, 'it was the best three minutes of my life'. Bless. That just sums up following Ipswich Town.
This unbeaten run over them just gets better and better. I'm sure Ipswich manager Paul Hurst has been made aware of the run and I'm equally sure those Ipswich fans will be well up for the game. So us City fans will have to play our part in keeping the run going.
Forget all opinions on Sunday lunchtime on what should be happening or what shouldn't be happening. Let's save that for after the game. Let's be loud and proud from the moment we arrive. Let's get right behind the team. Let's not show any negativity.
I was pleased to see Louis Thompson play last week and felt he was the only bright spark in the Leeds defeat. Hopefully, Daniel Farke will play him on Sunday and, if he does, I'm sure he will play a major part.
Let's play a fast, attacking, attractive game because if we don't, we will be playing into Ipswich's hands. Emi Buendia needs to play – he is such an exciting player who shows a lot of resemblance to Wes Hoolahan by opening up the play easily and creating chances. Hopefully after a couple of sub appearances and a start during the week at Cardiff, we will see a lot more of Buendia. Maybe he could be our secret weapon on Sunday.
I know there are some concerns over Tim Krul after a couple of mistakes – all I'll say is, the more games he plays, the more confident he will get and I'm sure we'll see why he is a respected goalkeeper.
I'm confident we have better players than Ipswich but, as we all know, that means nothing on Derby Day. So I just hope the players and management team are fired up and ready for battle like I and 2,000 other Canaries will be.
Remember, fellow Canaries... Be loud, Be Proud.
NCFC, Pride of Anglia.