Jim O’Brien says Notts County can make or break supporters’ weekends depending on how they perform against Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The midfielder has been a big hit since his arrival at the club and already understands the rivalry between the two sides and the importance of the biggest ever Nottinghamshire Derby.
With a crowd of over 12,000 expected at Meadow Lane, O’Brien says he and his team-mates will be doing everything they can to send the home fans away happy.
“Mansfield is a big game for the supporters because there are bragging rights at stake – a derby can make or break people’s weekends,” he said.
“The atmosphere at Meadow Lane is going be great and we have to go out there and try to get three points.
“We’re starting to get more belief and confidence. It’s like night and day from when I first came in and now we believe we can beat anyone.”
Supporters have quickly taken to O’Brien’s all-action approach on the pitch and he’s already developing a reputation as a no-nonsense man in the Notts’ midfield.
“I’m enjoying playing in the middle of the park and filling that role,” he said.
“As I’ve got older I’ve become a different player – it wasn’t until I went to Bradford in the summer and put myself about that everyone started to see me as a bit of a hard man.
“I’d been out of contract and I knew they needed someone who would put their body on the line, which brought that side out of me and it’s carried on.”
The ex-Coventry man has quickly formed an effective partnership with fellow former Sky Blue Michael Doyle and enjoys lining up next to him.
“Doyler is a good pro and he’s vocal in the dressing room, which is something I respond to,” said O’Brien.
“He’s easy to play alongside because he understands his job and knows the game well.
“We’ve clicked quickly, which is important because you have to hit the ground running when you come in. All the new boys have done that.”