Midfielder Scott Arfield has declared that the East Lancashire derby against Rovers blows other rivalries out of the water.
The 26-year-old played for Huddersfield Town against Leeds United in a Championship fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium in 2012 and netted a last minute penalty for Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Kincardineshire rivals Dunfermline Athletic at Hampden Park six-and-a-half years ago.
I played in the Huddersfield-Leeds game but this one just blows it out of the waterScott Arfield
“It’s a proper derby; a proper day,” he said. “Once you get a taste for that kind of derby and that kind of passion you want to stay in the team.
“Getting the win over there for the first time in so many years, we know how much it means to the fans and we’re looking forward to that.
“I played in the Huddersfield-Leeds game but this one just blows it out of the water. It was proper when it was here with our fans, but it was something extra special going over there, taking over that stand and we know how much it means to this town and we’re going to try to get the win again.”
Arfield’s first experience of the hostilities arrived in September 2013 as Jordan Rhodes’s fortuitous equaliser cancelled out a marvellous strike from Junior Stanislas. But Arfield and his team-mates enacted revenge six months later as Jason Shackell and Danny Ings scored in a 2-1 win at Ewood Park.
“You’re obviously aware how much it means to people but if you strip it it’s just a game of football,” Arfield said.
“You need to play with clarity and you need to play as a team, and if you get the rub of the green you’re going to win the game.
“You need to appreciate how much it means but you zone out of that and treat it as any other game.
“It’s one you want to win; you don’t want to lose it.”
Arfield, a former Terriers colleague of Rhodes, added: “In these games I don’t really think form matters. You could have top of the table playing against bottom.
“We know they possess good players, they’ve got a good goalscorer in Jordan Rhodes.
“They’ve got attributes all about the pitch, but it’s about us and we need to go there and try to get that win.”
He added: “Jordan knows what it means there. You can’t give him an inch. He’s a fantastic goalscorer and offers that wherever he’s been previously.
“Every season he’s among the top goalscorers. He’s a proper player. But it’s all about us.”