9:30am Saturday 18th January 2014
By David Pritchard
Oxford United must match Wycombe Wanderers’ intensity in a derby atmosphere if they are to take three points this afternoon, according to Jake Wright.
The fixture is the biggest of the season at Adams Park, with the Chairboys viewing the U’s as their main local rivals.
For United, it is some way off their clashes with Swindon Town, but the visitors will need to be wary of a fired-up Wanderers.
Gareth Ainsworth’s men were seconds away from winning at the Kassam Stadium in August, before a late equaliser from Johnny Mullins earned a 2-2 draw.
Wright believes the visitors have to treat the game just like their opponents.
The United skipper said: “Obviously every game you want to give 100 per cent, but sometimes you get there and the atmosphere is different.
“Teams can do a little bit more subconsciously because it is a massive derby for them.
“So we need to make sure we match them otherwise we’ll get walked over.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, it’s exactly the same, so we need to turn up with the mindset that it’s going to be like a cup game.
“They will go for it from the first whistle and we need to make sure we are as well.”
United are unbeaten away this season but are in need of a result to stay in the leading pack after a run of four games without a win in Sky Bet League Two.
Last season they won 3-1 in Buckinghamshire and one element of the day is certain to be repeated today.
More than 1,800 away fans roared them to victory and a similar number will again make the short trip down the M40.
Wright said: “It makes a massive difference when you can hear them in the tunnel and then as you come out you see how many there are.
“Maybe there will be a few more (Wycombe fans) there because it is us, but I guarantee our fans will make a lot more noise.
“That’s something everyone knows and it gives us a huge lift even before we’ve touched a ball.”
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