Norwich City fans must keep eye on the ball
There will be plenty of Ipswich Town connections for the Norwich City faithful to get fired-up about when Crystal Palace visit Carrow Road tonight – but Paul Lambert does not expect it to be a distraction for another bumper home crowd.
The Canaries welcome a struggling Palace side managed by ex-Blues boss, George Burley, while former Town favourites Owen Garvan and Pablo Counago are expected to feature on the pitch. Only injury prevents Darren Ambrose and David Wright joining the party.
And although hot receptions are likely to await those with Suffolk connections, Lambert knows getting a result over the Eagles will be the focus for everyone inside Carrow Road.
'We have to concentrate on ourselves; obviously I know the connection there and probably like anywhere you will probably get a bit of stick for it, but I'm pretty sure when the game kicks off then hopefully people will just concentrate on us trying to win the game,' said Lambert. 'I know what it's like if you are playing with a team in a derby game and you are going back to a team that you played against and the fans are the way they are, but our fans have been absolutely terrific for us. On Saturday they were unbelievable and to go that distance and get behind us the way they do is brilliant.'
City will be hoping to build on a promising goalless draw at Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, and with their Kids for a Quid scheme for tonight's match, it is hoped the crowd will top this season's current best – 25,091 for the visit of Leicester City at the end of last month.
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'The players have lifted the city and the crowd have lifted the players and to have a successful team or a successful club you have got to have the two of them bouncing off each other,' said Lambert.
'They have done it in my time since I've been here, they have given them that factor where they feel good. You have to have the fans on your side and at the minute we have certainly got them.
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'But I am under no illusions about how hard (Palace) will be because people will come and think, 'Norwich are going to win then they'll win on Saturday, because Middlesbrough are having a hard time', so it doesn't really wash with me. I know how hard the two games are going to be.'