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Oxford United going for hat-trick against arch rivals
9:00am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Sport
United will be looking for their third victory against their arch rivals in just over 12 months, after triumphing home and away in npower League Two last season.
The club are expecting their biggest gate of the season at the Kassam Stadium for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first-round tie.
The competition usually struggles to attract interest until the latter stages, but the opposition ensures the fixture is eagerly anticipated.
And Wilder, who has prepared for the game amid intense speculation he is a target for Coventry City, admitted he and the players were desperate to give supporters something to shout about.
The United boss said: “I’m not going to say it’s just another game, that would be disrespectful to our supporters.
“It’s quite clearly not and we have to make sure that we give our fans the opportunity to have a night out – like they did in the last two meetings.
“It won’t be a case that we’ll be up for this more because we’re up for every game, but it’s a local derby, so you can’t hide away from that.”
Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio pulled no punches in previewing the game and is determined to avenge last season’s defeats.
He said: “I told my players already that for me and for everybody, even though the six points that Oxford got from us last year was enough for them to reach nothing, I don’t like to give this kind of charity.
“It’s time we play for what we deserve because we have to be honest – if we put together the 180 minutes (from last season) the game should finish 12-5.”
Swindon, who have invested heavily this summer since winning promotion to League One, are second favourites to win the entire competition.
Wilder knows his side will be underdogs on paper, but thinks the electric atmosphere will level the playing field.
He said: “Whatever team we put out will be up against it because they’ve signed quality players from Championship clubs.
“It’s a tough one for us, but in a local derby it goes out the window – it did last year when we had two fabulous performances and results.”
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