JORDAN Obita says it did not take him long to understand how much Saturday’s derby against Swindon Town means to Oxford United.

The 26-year-old was born in the city, but joined Reading’s academy aged seven and rose through the ranks at the Berkshire club.

Obita’s move to the U’s earlier this month means he is one of four players from Oxfordshire in contention this weekend, along with Matty Taylor, Sam Long and Josh Ruffels.

The left-sided player has bedded in well at United and is already up to speed with the importance of the Swindon clash.

“It’s my first time being involved in a big rivalry like this,” Obita said.

“When I was at Reading you had London clubs who you tried to make a rivalry with, but it’s not really a rivalry.

“We’ve got a good record against Swindon, so hopefully we continue that.

“I’ve always known of the rivalry, but because I was never an Oxford player I didn’t get everything around it.

“Now I do and I want to be a part of that to keep that going.”

The derby comes days after the government announced fans would be allowed back in stadia in areas with low infection rates when lockdown ends next week.

Saturday’s game would surely have been a sell-out under normal circumstances and, while disappointed United will not be roared on by a capacity crowd, Obita insists they will be just as determined.

He said: “I wish it was with fans, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

“As a whole city we want to win that game.

“My thoughts never change – I always want to destroy every team I play against.”

Another player fully aware of the derby’s importance is Alex Gorrin, who scored his first United goal in the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth on Tuesday.

The Spaniard was quick to refocus after Pompey and is looking forward to the Swindon visit.

He said: “It’s massive. All the local boys make it feel like a big game.

“I’ve been here a year and a half now, I know what being an Oxford player is and we can’t wait.

“It’s a game we have to win, but we can’t get caught up in the occasion.

“We have to keep a cool head.”