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U's aim to shoot down Robins, again

5 September 2012

By Tony Leighton

Oxford United claimed a memorable npower League 2 double over local rivals Swindon Town last season, now Chris Wilder's U's are aiming to heap more misery on Paolo Di Canio's team by dumping March's Johnstone's Paint Trophy runners-up out of the competition at the first hurdle.

The two teams clash at the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday evening and Oxford manager Wilder is as excited as the fans about meeting the Robins in a knock-out match so early in the new campaign after seeing them climb up to League 1 last term, while the U's own promotions ambitions frustratingly faded away.

Wilder told "I live just outside the city so I understand totally the fans' passion for this fixture. Swindon are our fiercest rivals and whether it's a League match, a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie or a pre-season friendly against them, our supporters would turn up in numbers and give us their absolute backing.

"The fans were thrilled when we went to Swindon and won there for the first time in 38 years last season, and they were just as thrilled when we completed the double over them. They're a good side though, and they've invested heavily since getting promoted so it's going to be a very tough match for us."

Oxford and Swindon have started their respective League campaigns well, though both lost their unbeaten records at the weekend - the U's went down 3-1 at newly-promoted York City, while the Robins lost 4-1 at Preston North End. Not that either of those results will have a bearing on Wednesday's Trophy tussle, says Wilder.

"This is a one-off game that both sides are going to be desperate to win," said the U's boss. "Sometimes Cup competitions start slowly in the early rounds, but that's not going to be the case here - there's going to be a big crowd and a great atmosphere, and it's going to be a really good game of football.

"Swindon got to Wembley for the Trophy Final last year and that's a great prize to have at the end of the competition. We played there ourselves in the [Blue Square Premier] Play-Off Final two years ago in front of a 45,000 crowd and it was a great privilege to play there and a wonderful day for us - and we'd love to go there again."

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