OXFORD City boss Mark Jones is relishing being the first to pit his wits against Oxford United’s new manager Pep Clotet.

The sides kick off their pre-season campaigns with a friendly at a revamped Court Place Farm on Saturday.

While City are eyeing a record gate to trump the 1,800 that witnessed their inaugural game at the ground in 1993, United fans are eagerly awaiting a first glimpse of Clotet.

The former Leeds United No 2’s opposite number will be Jones, who is looking forward to the occasion.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know too much about him.

“I know he worked with Garry Monk at Swansea City and Leeds United and he’s a very highly-rated coach.

“I wish him all the best and I’m sure he will do well.

“It’s nice for us to have our first game against a good League One side with a new manager and I’m sure the United players will want to impress him.

“Hopefully our players will want to play well in front of a good crowd and we’re looking forward to it.”

Clotet was appointed as Michael Appleton’s successor on Saturday, meeting United’s players and staff yesterday, before overseeing his first training session.

The friendly against their Vanarama National League South neighbours is the continuation of a flourishing collaboration between the clubs.

United and City put pen to paper on a new partnership in May which will see them together run the brand new 3G surface, which has been installed at Court Place Farm over the summer.

Volunteers have also been hard at work to renovate the clubhouse and give the ground a fresh lick of paint.

Jones said: “From the club’s point of view, it’s a really big day with the investment that’s been put into the new pitch and all the work on the clubhouse.

“It’s a bit like a new start.

“I’m sure Oxford United will be bringing down a big squad and mixing it up a bit.”