SWINDON Town goalkeeper Connal Trueman has said his method of integrating into the club’s derby with Oxford United on Tuesday will be to talk as much as possible in the early stages.
The 24-year-old has never played for his parent club in a Birmingham derby before – although Trueman was on the bench for the Blues’ two losses to Villa in the 2018-19 campaign.
The loaned Birmingham City player will experience his second Ligue 1 derby of the season despite having been in goal for the AFC Wimbledon clash with MK Dons earlier this season.
And Town’s emergency loan is eagerly awaiting his home debut after away losses to Sunderland and Accrington Stanley.
When asked how he was going to try to calm nerves early on without the ability to make an early tackle or play a series of single passes, Trueman said: “It’s often a big part of derby day – noise – but especially without fans, you have to be able to generate the motivation yourself.
“I think the great thing for me will be to use my voice. It’s the same with most games, you can really work your way through a game.
“That will definitely be the case tomorrow night because I can’t come in and win that 50-50 tackle early at the gates.
“As a goalkeeper you have to be able to find other ways to fit into the game. In your head you have to try to treat it like a normal game. Just do your job, do the right things, then let your abilities take care of themselves.
Trueman revealed he learned of the Swindon-Oxford rivalry almost instantly after signing a loan last week.
A Birmingham fan, the 24-year-old has admitted he would like to be in the starting XI against Villa one day in his career.
But for now, he has admitted he has a job to do for loan club Swindon. Trueman said that the fact that he’s not a die-hard fan makes it easier in derby matches because his judgment can remain clear and he can allow his ability to speak.
He said: “I think you have to stay in the zone anyway. There is always going to be a little difference in your approach as a player rather than as a fan.
“You have to go out there and do your job, and approach it a little bit differently.
“Potentially, the feeling will really set in after the final whistle. Hopefully we’re on the safe side of this outcome and hope that elation sets in as soon as possible. ”