SWINDON Town midfielder Matt Smith says the rivalry between his new team and Oxford United is already well-known, and believes the passion of the fixture will drive Richie Wellens’ men onto victory.

Despite being on loan from Premier League giants, Arsenal, Smith said he was quickly made aware of the most hotly-anticipated fixture of the season upon his arrival at SN1.

Likening it to his own experiences of the Gunners’ rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur, the 20-year-old knows what it takes to emerge victorious on derby-day having won four of his six contests against Spurs’ under 18s and 23s, respectively.

But with Town’s form not looking so good in recent weeks following five consecutive losses, Smith knows Saturday is the perfect chance to set his loan club back on the winning path.

He said: “A couple of the boys have been telling me about it, so I do know it is a massive game.

“We’ve got to bounce back from Tuesday, and hopefully we’ll do well and get the win.

“It’s not just a massive game because of the rivalry, it’s a massive game because we’ve got to turn our form around.

“We’ve lost a few on the bounce now, but the rivalry will drive us on, everyone will be up for it and I’m sure we will get the win.”

And despite Swindon’s own run of results being disappointing, the performances of the young Arsenal loanee have been anything but in the centre of midfield.

Smith has been a shining light in an otherwise dark start to the League One season – with two wins from seven games causing some concern among the Town faithful.

When asked how the 20-year-old has maintained such a high level of consistency since his arrival, Smith stated that treating every game in the same manner helps him to dominate in midfield.

He said: “In this league, there are a lot of games, so you’ve got to keep doing it every week and in every game to keep that consistency up.

“You can’t dip in form, especially playing in the middle of midfield, you’ve got to try and dominate every game that you play.

“It’s different from being a striker maybe because some games you’ll be in and out of the game whereas in midfield, you’ve got to keep that consistency every week to help the team try and win.

“Every game is massively important – you’ll win some and you’ll lose some, but preparation has to be the same every week.

“I think that’s maybe what separates the top players from the average players.”