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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says front two will be key for derby success

So it all comes down to a East Anglian Derby showdown over two instalments.

After the pain of the last two games, knocking those pesky Canaries off their perch to book a place at Wembley would never feel sweeter.

But seeing them progress at our expense would be unbearable.

A one-off tie would have suited us better, and you’ve got to feel we need to be at least level, ideally with an advantage to protect, going to Carrow Road.

I feel what is important in the home leg on Saturday (12:15pm) is not to let that nervous energy spill onto the pitch and affect the players.

A full house needs to be roaring the boys on from the first whistle to the last.

It was a bizarre feeling celebrating a 3-2 defeat at Blackburn on Saturday, and I hope we’ve got that performance out of our system at the right time.

After Daryl Murphy’s sublime volley 90 seconds in, it looked like it would be a cruise to the finish line.

But there will have been no-one more disappointed than Mick McCarthy to see us concede three sloppy goals, and two from set pieces.

Thank heavens for Reading coming good against Derby in the end, and for a Darren Bent missed penalty!

A lack of width was one of the things that I felt really cost us in our last encounter with our nearest -and-least dearest and I’m sure Mick won’t be making the same mistake again on Saturday.

I’m thankful Norwich will be deprived of the suspended Lewis Grabban for the weekend and the return leg a week Saturday (also 12:15pm) as he has been a real thorn in our side.

We may be underdogs, but with Freddie Sears and Daryl Murphy in their current form, no-one can write us off.

It’s set to be a real rollercoaster, so get ready to hold on tight...

n If you can’t make the game, or couldn’t get a ticket, follow my take on proceedings from the press box via the website under the ‘live sport’ tab under ‘sport’ from the homepage.

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