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Thanks for the extra incentive Holland

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As if the team didn''t need any more motivation to win on Saturday.....

November 12, 2004 12:00

CHARLTON skipper Matt Holland today proved he still has derby fever pumping through his veins two years after leaving the Canaries'' arch-rivals Ipswich, saying: "Norwich are a team I would like to beat more than any other".

The 30-year-old former Town favourite has ensured he will get a "special" welcome from City fans at The Valley tomorrow with his comments – as if that was ever in doubt – and is relishing the confrontation.

"I''m looking forward to it," confessed Holland, "I''m sure that I''ll get a bit of stick but it''s something you come to expect. I got the same thing at Ipswich and playing against Colchester, where I live, and at other grounds."

The Republic of Ireland international was a near ever-present for the Blues in the five years he was at Portman Road and still holds a lot of affection for the town and club.

He said: "I spent a lot of time in Ipswich and I try to get to see them as often as I can and I hope that they get promoted this season.

"Obviously, I am desperate to beat Norwich. Norwich are a team I would like to beat more than any other."

Holland, a veteran of eight East Anglian derbies, did admit, however, that he expected a tough game from Nigel Worthington''s men.

And he expects City to pick up three points sooner rather than later, but obviously not until after this weekend''s fixture.

"They have proved this season that they are a tough team to play against and have made improvements over the past couple of weeks," said Holland, who made 314 appearances and scored 46 goals in six seasons at Ipswich.

"Clearly Huckerby is a danger and another player to watch defensively is Matt Svensson who will have a point to prove going back to Charlton."

Holland also admitted that the Addicks'' season had been a little stop-start but after last weekend''s 3-2 win over London rivals Tottenham he believes their season may have turned the corner.

He declared: "We had a few players come and go in the summer and some arrived late in pre-season, which his never helpful, and there have also been injuries before and during the season.

"I picked up one just at the start of the season and so has Shaun Bartlett and Michael Fish so it''s been a bit disjointed so far," he added.

"We had a bad run of losing three games on the spin but hopefully the result against Tottenham will have given us the confidence we need to go on."

The instrumental midfielder was also adamant that the Canaries were going about their Premiership survival fight in the right way.

By not spending big in the summer, City have avoided having to deal with an unmanageable wage bill should they drop back down into the Championship – a subject close to the heart of the former Town skipper.

"It''s so difficult for promoted teams to stay up and make an impression in the top flight," he said. "Saying that, all three have done okay and stand an equal chance of surviving.

"Palace have made a good start but all teams go on good and bad runs and I''m sure that Norwich will have one too.

"They have done right to not spend too much and have been sensible because if they did they could be faced with a large wage bill if they get relegated."

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[quote]I look forward to Holt or Francis laying out old ladyboy, and Norwich winning too of course.[/quote]

Tut tut Peter, a moderator advocating violence, mind you, I do agree with you, shame on us both!.

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