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19 August 2016

Our guide to the Tractor Boys

NORWICH City travel to Suffolk on Sunday, August 21 (12pm) to take on East Anglian Rivals Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship. 

Here, we take a look at what City will come up against at Portman Road.

Mick McCarthy has transformed Ipswich Town into regular play-off contenders, having initially taken over when the Club was struggling in the Sky Bet Championship.

Appointed in November 2012, the Yorkshireman won his first match in charge to end a 12-match winless streak, eventually guiding Ipswich out of the relegation zone to secure a 14th place finish.

His first full season at the helm saw the Tractor Boys take 9th spot, before leading them to the 2014-15 play-off semi-finals where they were beaten over two legs by the Canaries.

The former Republic of Ireland international has notable pedigree, having won the second tier title in both 2004-05 and 2008-09 with Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively.

Ipswich's progress under McCarthy was recognised in January of this year when he penned a contract extension until 2018, alongside assistant Terry Connor, eventually ending the 2015-16 campaign in 7th.

Ipswich Town are relishing the upcoming East Anglian derby clash at Portman Road, according to manager Mick McCarthy.

Speaking to the Tractor Boys' official website on Friday, McCarthy said: "We've been looking forward to this game and I hope the supporters are as well.

"Games like Sunday are what we're in football for. I've been involved in a lot of derbies and you've got to play the game to win it because the rewards are there if you do.

"I remember walking out for the play-off game here against Norwich and it was a fantastic occasion. It was a real 'hairs standing up on the back of the neck’ moment.

"We need that level of support again on Sunday. It really can make a difference to the players; to all of us."

Grant Ward introduced himself at Portman Road in stunning fashion, netting a debut hat-trick off the bench on the opening day of the season against Barnsley.

Replacing Teddy Bishop at half-time with the score at 0-0, Ward made an immediate impact by firing his side in front just 30 seconds after coming on.

He added two more in a thrilling second period, with Ipswich eventually triumphing 4-2 to begin their 2016-17 campaign strongly.

The 21-year-old, a summer signing from Tottenham Hotspur, came through the youth ranks at White Hart Lane but never made a senior appearance for the Londoners.

Ward spent the end of the 2014-15 season on loan at Coventry City, before enjoying a year-long temporary stint at Rotherham United last term.

Netting twice for the Millers in 40 league appearances, the youngster's early treble means he has already surpassed that tally with the Tractor Boys.

Goalkeepers: Dean Gerken, Bartosz Bialkowski, Michael Crowe.

Defenders: Jonas Knudsen, Luke Chambers (c), Tommy Smith, Christophe Berra, Adam Webster, Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock.

Midfielders: Teddy Bishop, Cole Skuse, Paul Digby, Giles Coke, Kevin Bru, Grant Ward, Luke Hyam, Jonathan Douglas, Andre Dozzell, Adam McDonnell, Conor Grant.

Forwards: Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Brett Pitman, Freddie Sears, Shane McLoughlin, Luke Varney.

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