DEAN HEFFERNAN was more than impressed with his first derby experience in English football.
Town’s 29-year-old Australian left-back said the 2-2 draw with Leeds was played out at a more intense pace than either of the two internationals he’s appeared in.
“It was huge,” explained the World Cup hopeful, who lined up against compatriot Patrick Kisnorbo in front of a Galpharm crowd of 21,764 (on tickets issued).
“Never before have I been involved in a game like that. It was just so loud and the atmosphere made it awesome.
“It was hard to talk to the other players above the din. There was so much passion among the supporters.
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“When you play in games like this you just have to keep your head and focus. You have to keep fighting, keep going for it, and we did that.
“It was a roller-coaster game for us, going ahead (through Anthony Pilkington’s 13th-minute opener), then finding ourselves 2-1 down (Jonathan Howson and Luciano Becchio headed home for Leeds in the 61st and 66th minutes) then levelling with a great goal by Gary Roberts (in the 85th minute).
“I thought we gave it a really good go, and Jordan Rhodes and Lee Novak both came close to scoring for us.
“Those two young blokes are superb for us every game, and I’ve been so impressed with how they handle themselves and how hard they work.”
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Town head to Southampton tomorrow, and Heffernan added: “It’s another big game and we’ll go about it the same way, with the aim of winning.”