Peter plays pipe of peace
CHRIS LAKEY Peace has broken out between Canaries boss Peter Grant and his Ipswich counterpart Jim Magilton. East Anglia's rookie managers squared up to each other in no uncertain terms during the 2004 play-offs when Grant was assistant manager at West Ham and Magilton was the Blues skipper.
Peace has broken out between Canaries boss Peter Grant and his Ipswich counterpart Jim Magilton.
East Anglia's rookie managers squared up to each other in no uncertain terms during the 2004 play-offs when Grant was assistant manager at West Ham and Magilton was the Blues skipper.
The enraged Irishman had to be restrained after being taunted by Grant towards the end of the second leg at Portman Road 20 months ago.
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And while Ipswich and Magilton simmered the Hammers went on to beat Preston in the final and achieve their Premiership dream.
But anyone expecting a repeat at Portman Road looks likely to be disappointed - they're closer to being friends than enemies.
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“I dealt with Jim a lot when Ipswich took Mark Noble on loan from West Ham and one of the first faxes I received when I got the job here was from Jim,” said Grant. “So no, definitely no problem.
“I am not that type, there's no problem there at all. Tensions are always high in games and playing against each other like we did it never created a problem.”
Magilton, meanwhile, will be Mr Hospitality come Sunday morning.
“What happened then was down to the passion and emotion of a play-off semi-final,” he said. “We both wanted our teams to win and things were said, but that is all behind us now. We have made up since then and there are no problems.
“In fact, Peter was very helpful when we wanted to take Mark Noble from West Ham and he helped us arrange it.”
If a nerve were to be touched it would be at reports that Grant is keen to take Noble on loan at Carrow Road, although no deal would be possible before the derby match.
Magilton admitted he would not be best pleased if that were to happen.
He said: “I would be annoyed if Mark went to any Championship club. I'm hoping he gets into the West Ham first team and I know that is what mark is hoping for to. I know Mark enjoyed it here and would hope that if he were to become available on loan again in January he would let us know and come back here where he would be very welcome.”
After playing in eight East Anglian clashes, Magilton is relishing his first one as a manager.
He said: “I loved playing in these derby games, they are brilliant matches and for me highly underrated.
“Derby days tend to be more about the supporters than anything else and bragging rights, so we know as players and as a manger how important it is to them.
“Hopefully the game will go off without any incident as usual because the supporters have always been brilliant and I hope it stays that way.