ROB EDWARDS knows better than anyone the importance of victory to Town in tomorrow's derby against Bradford City (noon).
The 34-year-old captain of the club is the only one of Peter Jackson's fit squad who has experienced the passion and ferocity of this showdown before.
Five years have passed since Town completed the double over City's promotion-winning side in the 1998-99 season, but Edwards vividly remembers the excitement.
And he got a sharp reminder this week that bragging rights over the M606 rivals must be restored at the Galpharm Stadium in less than 24 hours time.
He explained: "I was walking in the supermarket the other day and someone I had never met before came up to me and said `we HAVE to beat Bradford.'
"That's how much it means to people and everyone around town is talking about the derby.
"It's a massive game.
"Even before the play-off final last year people were saying we'd be playing Bradford again if we went up and, as soon as the fixtures came out, this is the one they were all looking for.
"They are special matches, the sort you want to be involved in as a professional, and there's always a great atmosphere and edge to them.
"I can still remember the last time we played them over at their place, when we won 3-2, and it was a fantastic occasion.
"Coming off the pitch and seeing all our fans so happy and delirious was just a great feeling and it would be brilliant to experience that again this time around."
Edwards has earned his place at left wing-back in the last two matches - "I'm still gutted about losing at Oldham" - and he is confident his colleagues will relish their first involvement in a West Yorkshire derby.
"The atmosphere will be electric, the pace will be 110mph and I know the lads will be full of effort and determination," said Edwards.
"I don't need to give anyone advice about playing in these big games. It's just about making sure you play your own game well and, having come through at the Millennium Stadium in the play-off final like we did, I don't think anyone will be overawed.
"It's just a case of enjoying the game, and I know all the lads are looking forward to it and that the fans are up for it as well.
"It's a long time since we played them and no-one, especially those who work with Bradford fans, will want the mickey taking out of them on Monday morning."
Edwards says the importance of the fixture has been drilled home in a full week of preparation.
"We hadn't even left the changing rooms at Oldham when the gaffer, sickened by the defeat, told us we'd have no bigger and better match to bounce back in than Bradford at the Galpharm Stadium," said the man who has 166 Town League games to his credit.
"Peter Jackson and Terry Yorath both have massive connections to Bradford, but there's no doubt how much a Town win would mean to them and to everyone else.
"We are up for it, we are ready to go and, hopefully, this can be the start of the consistent run we need to push us up the table."
Nottingham referee Phil Joslin is entrusted with tomorrow's clash. He took charge of Town's 0-0 draw with Chesterfield in the early stages of the season.
Town - Rachubka, Holdsworth, Edwards, Mirfin, E Sodje, Clarke, Worthington, Schofield, Carss, Abbott, Mendes, Brandon, Lloyd, Brown, McAliskey, A Sodje, McCombe, Ahmed.
Bradford - Henderson, Holloway, Wetherall, Bower, Emanuel, Summerbee, Crooks, Schumacher, Morrison, Abbey, Windass. Subs (from): Forrest, Jacobs, Muirhead, Ricketts, Swift, Atherton, Symes.
Referee - Phil Joslin (Notts).