JON Obika says he had no qualms about swapping Swindon Town for Oxford United after the striker became Pep Clotet’s first signing.

The 26-year-old is just the sixth player to move directly to the U’s from their big rivals on a permanent deal – and only the third in 50 years.

Obika knows all about the relationship between the two clubs, having been on the losing side twice during his three years at the County Ground.

But it was not a factor in his decision to turn down a new contract in the wake of the Wiltshire side’s relegation to Sky Bet League Two, and sign a two-year deal at the Kassam Stadium.

He said: “I understand the rivalry, but it was more about what I needed for the next level.

“I feel Oxford are the team who are going to give that.”

Obika’s most recent taste of the derby was in United’s 2-0 home win in League One last September, while injury kept him out of the 2-1 success in February’s reverse fixture.

The striker said: “It was tough last season because it’s a great club, but we weren’t good enough during the course of the season.

“When we played Oxford it was great to see the passion from both sets of fans.

“You could tell Oxford were always going to be a great side and I was surprised they didn’t get into the play-offs.”

The bigger hitch with getting the deal over the line was in United’s change of management.

Michael Appleton opened talks with the former Tottenham Hotspur trainee, but negotiations became complicated by his departure to Leicester City.

United made it clear they remained interested and Obika was happy to bide his time.

A meeting with Clotet this week following the Spaniard’s appointment last weekend sealed the deal.

Obika said: “We were having talks (when Appleton left), but because the transfer window is quite long, there was time to think about things.

“With football anything can happen, so when you find out the manager had left it brings a bit of uncertainty.

“It was great to speak to the new manager and hear his philosophy and plans for the club.

“His desire resonated with me and you could tell why he’s been at the top level.”

Obika is set to make his debut against Oxford City tomorrow.