MICHAEL Raynes cannot wait to sample the atmosphere tonight and admits he has never played in a derby which compares with Oxford United and Swindon Town.
The 24-year-old joined the U’s this summer, so tonight’s game will be his first experience of the rivalry.
Teammates have been quick to fill Raynes in on what to expect and although the centre back has played in derbies before, none can match the intensity.
“I’ve heard it’s very tasty,” he said.
“If I’m honest I’ve not really played in any derby like this.
“When I was at Scunthorpe the derby was with Lincoln, I’ve had played in Stockport-Oldham and there was a big turnout for Sheffield United-Rotherham, but this one I’m really looking forward to.
“Every game’s new in football, that’s the way I always look at it.
“It’s more for the fans. We’re just looking at it as playing League One opposition and will be trying to cause an upset.”
After a flying start to the season, United’s momentum has been slowed by back-to-back defeats in the last week.
While there were few complaints over the 3-0 defeat at Leeds United in the Capital One Cup, the 3-1 loss in the league at York City last Saturday was a setback.
Mistakes at the back contributed to all York’s goals, with Raynes at fault for the third after mis-controlling a high ball.
The defender held his hands up and welcomed the chance to quickly bounce back to form.
He said: “We had a bit of a blip on Saturday, but you’re going to get them through the season, we just have to put it to bed and move on.
“We’ve had two bad results and it’s one of those you want to put right as soon as possible.
“There’s nothing worse when you have a result like Saturday and you don’t have another game for a week.
“We’ve got the opportunity to put it right on Wednesday, which in my opinion is always a good thing to do.”
Aside from the performance at York, Raynes is pleased with the way his career at Oxford United has started.
He said: “I’m enjoying it. “It’s a very welcoming club and the players and managing staff go out their way to help you. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start, apart from Saturday, obviously.”