Burnley boss Sean Dyche has labelled tomorrow’s clash with rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park as the “people’s derby”.
Dyche became the first manager since the legendary Harry Potts to guide the Clarets to victory in the East Lancashire derby, with Jason Shackell and Danny Ings replicating what Tony Morley and Brian Hall did 35 years earlier.
There’s a focus from us to win the game of course. It’s three points whichever way you look at itSean Dyche
While the Turf Moor chief understands the importance and significance of the fixture, which will be the 93rd competitive meeting between the two clubs, he declared that the occasion is strictly for the supporters.
For Dyche and his squad the rivalry and the milestones associated with its history take a back seat while the pursuit of victory and three points take precedence.
“I’ve had a few now so it’s probably slightly different than my first one,” said Dyche. “I’ve got a better understanding of it.
“I know it’s the people’s game between the two areas and everyone wants the result. We certainly do, but it really comes down to the focus on winning a match.
“The rest of it is for other people to worry about. My focus will be on getting the team ready and the team being ready to go and deliver a performance that can win.”
He added: “The last one was a special moment for the people who had supported the club for however many years. For me, it was another good result.
“I have a deeper understanding of the game now, but it still is the people’s game.
“There’s a focus from us to win the game of course. It’s three points whichever way you look at it.”
Since taking over Eddie Howe at the helm almost three years ago, Dyche is unbeaten in four meetings against Rovers who have his former Nottingham Forest team-mate, Gary Bowyer, in charge.
“That’s a nice thing for me and the team but that’s a reward for the fans because they’ve waited patiently for a long time.
“The onus is on a derby game. It’s on both teams to try to win a match. “They play out in so many different ways. There have been so many incidents over the games I’ve had - offside goals and all sorts. Who knows? But we’ll be ready.”
He added: “Woany knows Gary particularly well and I know him from his time at Forest. He’ll want to win the same as I do.”
The Clarets go in to the derby on the back of the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground midweek.
Once again Burnley’s relentless nature was on show as Matt Taylor salvaged a point in the closing moments after Eric Lichaj had given the hosts the lead.
“The motivation of the players and the way they go about it, I take great pride in that.
“It was there on show again. Even in the second half when we weren’t quite a fluid in the first half we were still creating chances and still going right the way down to the end of the game and we got a deserved point in the end.
“There are some really good signs again, certainly about the mentality of them, that’s for sure.”
Summer target Henri Lansbury’s dismissal proved the turning point as referee Stuart Attwell brandished the red card just minutes after the home side’s opener following a reckless challenge on Ben Mee.
“There was a twist of fate with the sending off and we were very productive after that.
“All I will say is the referee was very close to it so he must have had his reasons for sending him off.”
Dyche added: “We certainly created enough to win the game but that’s our 20th point from nine games so let’s not forget the bigger picture of this one.”