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18 August 2016

Ipswich Town v Norwich City - this Sunday!

ALEX Neil wants his players to combine passion with poise when they face rivals Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Sunday (12pm).

City head into the East Anglian derby in good form having taken seven points from their opening three games back in the Sky Bet Championship.

While Neil admits this match carries plenty of significance, he wants to keep his squad's focus on the football.

"We treat it the same in terms of the preparation, but it's certainly a different occasion for the fans," he told Norwich City TV on Thursday.

"For the players I think it's important that we keep them focused and don't get carried away with the occasion.

"First and foremost you've got to match them for effort and endeavour, because derbies are high-octane affairs, but we also need to keep cool heads and play some football. If we can do that, we should be fine."

Commenting on whether City's strong recent record in the fixture will have an impact, Neil added: "It makes a difference because you don't want to be the one to lose it.

"We're in decent form at the moment, I still think we've got more to come, and I think the players will attack the game. They know the occasion and they'll be up for it.

"I think it's going to be a full-blooded affair where both teams will want to get the win. They're at home, which gives them an advantage of some sorts.

"Ipswich are well-organised, they work extremely hard and they've got some good players at the top end of the pitch. It will be a tight game, but hopefully our quality will show over the 90 minutes."

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