Town First-Team Coach Ross Embleton is well aware of the importance of games against Oxford United and wants to finally get one over the Robins’ local rivals this evening.
The two sides will do battle tonight in the Checkatrade Trophy, with three points for either side enough to secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Oxford have won the last six meetings and Embleton sees tonight’s game as the perfect opportunity for Town to go out and write a small piece of club history.
“I think it is a fantastic rivalry. The defeat at their place a couple of weeks ago was my first experience of the actual occasion,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“A lot is made of it in the build-up but until the whistle goes and until you get off the coach at the stadium, you don’t quite realise how intense it is going to be.
“It was a fantastic experience to be involved in, albeit we ended up on the losing side.
“It is healthy that they are in the league and it is healthy that we get to play them three times this season. It adds to our season to have big games and big experiences like that.
“It is a great experience for our young players to play in that atmosphere and understand the different pressures that come with playing in a derby.
“We are responsible for trying to get a win against Oxford United. Listening to five in a row and then six in a row at games isn’t nice and we want to put that right.
“Whether it is in the cup or in the leagues, it is still important and we want to beat them at first-team level, we want to beat them in the Checkatrade Trophy and we want to beat them all the way through – if we send out our U8s to go and play against Oxford United it would be nice to see them get a result!
“It means a lot to everybody at both clubs.
“We can’t change history but it is a case of turning it around now and getting positive results from here on so our fans and people surrounding the club have got the bragging rights.”
Town will make changes for tonight’s game as they look to give some of their fringe players a valuable run-out, but the fact that Oxford are the opposition will have no bearing on the alterations made.
“There is always an added responsibility because we’re playing Oxford and we know the history, so that is something we will certainly bear in mind,” he added.
“Does it affect our team selection? Not totally because the cup competitions give us a huge opportunity for the boys who are in the squad, who we value and who contribute to the team every day to go and play.
“By no means do we undervalue the game.
“It adds extra spice because we know what it means to everybody and it also means the same to us and the players but, at the same time, we need to make sure we manage that.”