Marcel Ritzmaier is hoping for a special atmosphere when Barnsley host Huddersfield Town in the Yorkshire derby on Saturday.
Victory for the Reds in the Sky Bet Championship at Oakwell would close the gap to themselves and the Terriers to four points with just under half of the campaign remaining.
“It’s always a special game and a special feeling; I hope the stadium is full and that the fans enjoy it,” said Ritzmaier. “I hope we have the passion on the pitch to take the three points home.
“It’s very exciting; I’m looking forward to it. Yesterday I met all of the players and staff, we had a good session and we are preparing for the game on Saturday. It’s a big game and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ritzmaier has worked with Barnsley Head Coach Gerhard Struber in his native Austria when the pair were previously at Wolfsberger AC.
The 26-year-old midfielder had no doubt that he wanted to move to South Yorkshire to team up with his former coach and help the Reds in their fight for survival.
“I know him as a trainer and a person; I worked with him at my last club,” continued Ritzmaier. “We have a good relationship and he tells me positive things about the club and the Championship and English football, so I was sure I would come here.
“I look at the team and watched some games and have already seen there is lots of quality, so it’s now on us to get the right kind of football and I’m sure we can make it.”
Derbies are always unique occasions, which never fail to bring out the best in supporters who look forward to these fixtures more than any on the calendar.
Ritzmaier has experience of playing in derbies during his time in the Austrian Bundesliga and is relishing the prospect of his first all-Yorkshire clash.
“I’ve played in derbies in Austria – our derby was Sturm Graz,” explained the midfielder. “It’s a good experience because they are special; the fans, home and away, are crazy and make a good atmosphere, which we have to do on the pitch.
“I won most of the derbies, but never scored. Hopefully I will do in the future though, maybe on Saturday.”
You can watch Marcel’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.