Daniel Farke says Ipswich will provide a tough test for City as they head to Portman Road for Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship clash.
Norwich head into the match unbeaten in eight games, while Ipswich’s form has dipped recently after an excellent start.
“They had a brilliant beginning to the season and were really on fire,” Farke told the media on Friday afternoon. “They’ve struggled a little bit recently but they’ll be there with an aggressive attitude, especially at home. They’re in a good position and 100% they want to have three points, but we know we are hard to beat right now.
“It’ll be very close and tight and small things will decide it, so we have to concentrate 100%. They will be hungry to get their first win against us for a long time.”
Farke know City will be in for a real fight at Portman Road against Mick McCarthy’s men. “Ipswich play with a high intensity at home and with a lot of aggressiveness. We have to prepare for a lot of one-against-one duels.
“We think they will try to press us pretty high and put pressure on our build-up, so we have to improve our pace on the counter-attacks and to make quicker decisions than we did against Hull to create chances.”
Farke is looking forward to his first taste of an East Anglian derby, but wants his players to balance how they approach the game.
“You have to be there with a will to fight, but you also have to be cool in the head. It’s a fine line to find the right balance. It’s important to feel it’s a special game and to give a little bit more than 100% - you need fire in the heart and to be cool in the head.
“A derby is a bit like a cup game – it’s do or die and it’s important to feel this. But you also need to find the balance to stay cool and to concentrate – you need quality and concentrations as well as the right attitude.”
Farke says the team are looking forward to the match, and has noticed the increase in anticipation around the county over the last week. “You can feel it’s a special game,” he said. “It will be an emotional game and we want to bring our best performance on the pitch.
“It’s such an important game for the city and the fans. It’s three potential points like every game, but it’s more special because it will be full of emotion. But that’s what you’re looking for as a footballer.
“The guys are focussed and concentrated and you can feel from day to day that the focus is more concentrated. We’re looking forward to the game.”