PAUL DICKOV COLUMN (+AUDIO): Players must know what derbies mean to fans

As a manager, you cannot play down the significance of a derby.

The players have to realise very quickly what it means to the fans and the club. They will be getting a little reminder just before they go out on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday.

It was incredible to play in City-United derbies

It was incredible to play in City-United derbies

As much as it’s three points, it’s the fans that really matter.

There are all the old cloches about the Monday morning bragging rights but they’re all true.

For the hardcore fans, any defeat hurts. But against a rival it hurts even more.

You have to go out there and win it for them.

We’ve been quite lucky this year with our results from derby games. We beat Wednesday and we’ll be looking to do the double this weekend.

We drew twice with Barnsley and should definitely have won the second one. Although we lost to Leeds, as a rule our derby days have been pleasing.

As much as you want to play well, you need to fight and scrap and win that battle first because that’s what wins derbies.

It’s not about pretty football, it’s about who wants it the most.

I played in quite a lot over my career and it’s obvious the Manchester derbies stand out.

We were always the underdogs at City but it was just a great experience to plays against the likes of Beckham and Scholes.

And the big thing about it was always the build-up to the game. You could just feel the anticipation and tension around the city.

I didn’t have the best of records against United as a City player.

We got a point at Old Trafford once which was a great result back then.

Unfortunately I gave away a penalty after bringing down Wes Brown. Paul Scholes missed it but they got another one which Teddy Sheringham scored.

I redeemed myself later on because I set up the equaliser for Steve Howey so it was a good day.

In my Leicester days I scored quite a few goals against Forest and Derby which were always big games. And at Blackburn we knocked Burnley out of the FA Cup.

It doesn’t matter whether the eyes of the country are on the game like the City and United derbies, or whether it’s doesn’t spread much outside of the city or town, it’s as massive a game for the supporters.

You owe it to them to go out and battle for that win and we’ll be doing that on Saturday.