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Nathan Thompson on local derbies and recent form

26 August 2016

NATHAN Thompson admits that Town’s derby games were the first fixtures he looked for when the 2016/17 schedule was announced in June.

Bristol Rovers come to SN1 tomorrow in a first derby encounter for Swindon since the visit of Bristol City in November 2014 and the skipper declared that the added spice of a local derby has given an already-buoyant squad an added incentive come 1.30pm tomorrow.

“This game and the Oxford game were the fixtures I looked for at the start of the season,” he told the official website. "With no local derby at home last year, it gives you that added incentive so it’s a game we're all really looking forward to.

“The mood is buoyant. We’re on a good little run at this moment in time off the back of the Gillingham and Port Vale games. We know the performances could have done with a bit of work but the results themselves have been pleasing. It’s a happy camp at this moment in time and we’ll go into the game tomorrow full of confidence.”

After the Pirates’ EFL Cup exertions at Chelsea in midweek, Thompson believes that the reaction from Darrell Clarke’s side will make for an interesting spectacle, citing Town’s own post-cup exit performance at Chesterfield as an example of what Luke Williams’ team could be up against on Saturday lunchtime.

“It will be an interesting one,” he said. “They played at Stamford Bridge in midweek and you only had to look at our performance at Chesterfield to see what can happen ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. They will come in a buoyant mood too but it should lead to a good game. The pitch is looking in fantastic condition, hopefully the weather is nice and hopefully it will be a good spectacle.”

Finally, the Town skipper recalled his own fond memories of Swindon’s last derby encounter at SN1 against Rovers’ near-neighbours, Bristol City.

“The supporters are going to be extremely important,” he said of the bumper crowd expected at the County Ground. “I go back to the last time we had a local derby here against Bristol City and it’s one I look back on with real pleasure. It was a fantastic game, the atmosphere was extremely vibrant and it’s one I have fond memories of. Hopefully tomorrow we can create similar sorts of memories and ones that we look back on later in the season with a smile on our face.”

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