Norwich City confirm Ipswich derby fixture changes
15:22 01 July 2014
Norwich City have confirmed both scheduled Championship games against rivals Ipswich Town have been switched on police advice.
Neil Adams’ squad will now travel to Portman Road on Sunday, August 24 (noon kick-off) with the Tractor Boys’ return league fixture kicking off an hour earlier than originally scheduled at Carrow Road on Saturday, February 28 2015 (2pm).
City’s Easter trip to Brighton has been brought forward 24 hours and will now take place on Good Friday, April 3 2015 (kick-off 3pm). All three fixtures remain subject to change if selected for live television coverage.
Canaries’ boss Neil Adams, speaking prior to confirmation of the date change earlier on Tuesday, insisted his side will be ready for their first East Anglian derby since City’s 5-1 league victory at Portman Road in April 2011.
“Whenever it is it won’t be a problem. We will be ready for it,” he said. “There will be external factors why the game is moved. My focus is on preparing the team and there is no denying it is a massive game, an early one in the season. It is a huge one and we know what it means to the supporters. We need to do everything we can in the three league games before that to go into the fixture in a strong position. The fact it is a Sunday does not change anything. In the Premier League we had to adjust to plenty of different kick off times. 15, 20 years ago it might have been Saturday at 3pm. The better teams, the top teams have to play as and when.”
The August date switch, however, is set to clash with major engineering work on the London Liverpool Street to Norwich line.
Network Rail has scheduled track renewals in the Ipswich area, with buses replacing trains between Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich and Stowmarket from the start of service.
There will also be overhead line renewals taking place between Ilford and Shenfield, with buses replacing trains between Shenfield and Ilford until 8am on the Sunday. A Network Rail spokesman had previously said engineering works would not be moved.
“As part of our ongoing investment to improve the railway we are replacing the track in the Ipswich area on Sunday, August 24,” the spokesman said. “This work involves specialist engineers and equipment and was planned months in advance and before any football fixtures had been set.
“As a result of the work, there will be changes to services so we advise passengers who are travelling on that day to check with Abellio Greater Anglia or the National Rail Enquiries website.”
A spokesman for train operator Greater Anglia said the firm would be in contact with Norwich City and the police about how to offer the “best possible service”.