LEON McKenzie knows all about winning matches against Ipswich Town – and he is hoping a current Norwich City star can repeat his heroics when the two teams go head-to-head on Saturday (12.15pm).
McKenzie famously scored twice on his full Canaries debut to fire his team to the Division One summit via victory at Portman Road in December 2003.
City went on to win the title that season, and face their closest rivals in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs over the next two weekends as each chases promotion to the Premier League.
McKenzie recalled the day that quickly endeared him to City’s fanbase, commenting: “It’s in the history books, it’s never going to go away.
“I remember feeling pretty calm. Nigel Worthington had a chat with myself and Mathias Svensson, and he said that he was going to start us. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect it straight away but I grabbed it with both hands. I went out and gave my all.
“It was a great day and I remember everything. There are a few players at Norwich who have got that talent to do something individually and spark it like that.”
McKenzie, now a full-time professional boxer after retiring from football in 2013, believes City will head into the match as favourites but warns them to take nothing for granted.
“They’ve beaten Ipswich twice already this season, so they are favourites but at the same time there are always twists and turns in football,” he told canaries.co.uk in an exclusive interview.
“Even though we’ve two victories under our belts it’s not going to be easy because anything can happen in those games and Ipswich are a good side.
“It’s very hard to call what sort of game it will be. Both teams can score goals, so I think it will be interesting. Because of what you’re playing for, it’s a little bit different to a normal league game.
“I’m a big fan of the play-offs. I’ve been in a few myself and I loved that occasion. Some players love that kind of occasion and rise to it.”