Town boss expecting home success

Ipswich manager Jim Magilton identifies a kindred spirit in City counterpart Peter Grant as they prepare to go head-to-head in their first East Anglian derby as rival bosses.

Ipswich manager Jim Magilton identifies a kindred spirit in City counterpart Peter Grant as they prepare to go head-to-head in their first East Anglian derby as rival bosses.

Former Town midfielder Magilton, appointed as Joe Royle's successor in the summer, will be anxious for an improvement in his side's home form after four defeats at Portman Road already this season.

But he knows Grant will be just as eager for another away success after victories at Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion.

Magilton said: "It is a strange coincidence that both clubs have managers for whom this is a first East Anglian derby, yet both myself and Peter Grant know all about it from our playing days.


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"Peter will be just as desperate as I am to get the win and the three points, while his players will be every bit as determined as my lads to gain the upper hand. It would be that way no matter who we were playing - Ipswich want to reverse their recent run and win, while Norwich are obviously going to be keen to keep things going after two wins and two clean sheets.

"I suppose Peter and I are similar types, both passionate about the game and our own teams, and not afraid to voice our opinions from the touchline. I remember seeing him play for Celtic and that quality shone through more than anything else. He was always a 100 per cent player and he expects nothing less than maximum effort from those he is managing now."

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Magilton already said he had one debt of gratitude to Grant since taking the Ipswich hot seat.

"Peter was a big help to me earlier in the season when he was still at West Ham as assistant manager. I wanted to take Mark Noble on loan and when I asked Peter's opinion he didn't hesitate to tell me 'Go get him'. Mark was a big asset to this club and when I met Peter a couple of weeks later at a game I made sure I said a big thank-you."

Magilton admitted that the derby meant everything to the fans - but his own priority was three points.

He said: "Derby day is all about the supporters, with local pride and bragging rights at stake, but from a personal point of view I am only concerned with getting the win and the three points that will get us back on track after a spell of three games that earned us just one point, a very disappointing return.

"It's not that a derby game isn't important to me as a manager, but I want Ipswich to win every game. They are all big games when you are a manager. I cannot afford to say that this game is more important than any other, although I know what it means to the fans and we'll be doing our utmost to get the right result for them.

"It's more a case of expecting, rather than just wanting, us to win our home games. We have already lost four this season and that's four too many for my liking, and because we are going into this one on the back of a defeat by Sheffield Wednesday in front of our own fans it means there is a little bit more pressure on us to win on Sunday.

"You tend to make your own pressure in this game, however, because if we had taken our chances on Saturday we could have comfortably won the game against Wednesday.

"The one thing I will demand on Sunday is a positive reaction from my players in trying to bounce back from last week's defeat.

"It was a massive disappointment to lose that one and the fact that Norwich are our opponents is certain to add a bit more flavour to the pot."

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