McPhail has already tasted derby defeat once – back in the Carling Cup in September – a game that was doubly painful for him thanks to his second half red card.
And McPhail is well aware of how much this means to both sets of supporters and is determined to help his team mates right what he clearly sees as a wrong from the cup tie.
Speaking to Wales on Sunday, McPhail said “My little girl was born in South Wales and has a Welsh accent
“Through friends that we have made down here in Wales, we know exactly what it means to them.
“People forget that we live in and around Cardiff and there is no escaping the derby feeling, even if you wanted to.
“So we all know what it’s about – and it would certainly put a downer on the season if we lost to Swansea again.
“The atmosphere was a bit special and, to be fair to Swansea, they played some decent football.” he said. “They played to a system that every player is used to and we under-performed – that is a fact.
“We were not right on the night and we have to say we got beat by the better side. It hurt, but they were better.
“Mentally, we were not at a level we should have been, but I believe it will be different this time.
“If both sides hit their best form, it will be a cracking game.”
McPhail also feels that he let himself down in the first game “It was probably silly decision-making on my part,” he said.
“I was trying to get us going and started to get more frustrated as the game went on.
“But me being sent off in a derby game won’t happen again.
“I need to keep my head this time and make more of an impact.
“Look, there is no getting away from it, Swansea can play some really good football.
“But we will show what we are made of. Swansea certainly did not see the real Cardiff that night.
“This time though we will be a lot stronger and a lot better. Swansea got to grips with the game in September, and they certainly handled the occasion better.
“But I think Swansea played the best they can, while we certainly didn’t. They will certainly see a different Cardiff City side, that’s for sure.
“It’s a game we’ve been looking forward to ever since that night.
“We want to do it for ourselves and the fans that stand on the terraces and travel thousands of miles up and down the country during the season.
“Yes, they won a Carling Cup tie – which we wanted to badly – but there’s three points at stake this time and that’s so important because both clubs want to get to the next level as quickly as they can.
“I still feel we have not hit top gear yet, but we are in a good position. We have learnt over the last couple of years that it’s no good hitting the front too early.
“It’s about hanging around the top six and then put together a string of wins in the second half of the season.
“I feel we’ve learned from our mistakes because when we are not at our best now we can dig deep and get something out of games.
“The big thing for us is there is more steel about us than in previous seasons and having Michael Chopra back is a major boost, both for me and the team.
“We have this telepathic thing going on and once the ball is at my feet he knows where he wants the ball to go.
“I know what runs he will be making and he’s a natural goalscorer – I just hope he shows that at Swansea.”