Steven Whittaker banking on a derby day catalyst for Norwich City's stalling season when Ipswich Town visit the favourable surroundings of Carrow Road
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Derby day can inspire Norwich City to salvage their flagging Championship promotion hopes, so says Steven Whittaker.
The Canaries remain seven points off the play-off places and could be even further adrift come Sunday’s 12pm Carrow Road kick-off with arch rivals Ipswich Town – even though they received something of a boost, following Sheffield Wednesday’s surprise home defeat to Brentford on Tuesday.
“Definitely, we will all relish it,” said Whittaker. “Every player will want to play in that match, no doubt. We’ll hopefully see it as a turning point and something we can get a positive result from.
“The fans would all be happy with that and we can then all be positive going into the next set of fixtures.
“The likes of a Newcastle game, top of the league and a big team at Carrow Road on Tuesday night was a fantastic atmosphere. We played really well in the game and we were unlucky not to come away with three points.
“And the Ipswich game will be similar. It’s a derby, the fans will be up for it, we’ll be up for it and the whole squad will be looking forward to that.”
City’s wretched away form cost them dearly again at the weekend, as they slipped to defeat at Burton Albion.
But Whittaker remains convinced the Canaries’ record at home can keep them in the mix for when their fortunes on the road improve.
“Getting into the top six is always going to be difficult but we still believe we’ve got the squad to go on great runs,” he added.
“It was six fixtures that we were undefeated (before Burton). So we know we need to keep picking up points and pick them up quickly. It’s a great game on Sunday that we’re all looking forward to, so hopefully it can start then and we can go on another run.
“We know we’re just out of the play-offs and there’s a bit of a gap there, and we need to shut that up as soon as possible and push in there.
“The positive is we’ve still got to play the teams round about us, although they will be tough fixtures and I think we play a couple of them away from home. But they will take care of themselves when they come along.
“Saturday was not a nice result to have a bit of a break on, but hopefully we’ll get some boys back. It’s been pretty relentless the last few weeks.
“We’ve been really good at home. Obviously the pitch is usually a bit better. Sometimes you go away to some of the small grounds and it’s a bit stuffy, and we’ve probably not done as well in those games as we would have expected.
“At home that’s not been a problem and hopefully it won’t be on Sunday.”