Jones calls for calm heads as Burnley aim to end derby pain

In opposition David Jones challenges Charlie Austin in the derby at Ewood Park in March
In opposition David Jones challenges Charlie Austin in the derby at Ewood Park in March
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In March, David Jones wore blue and white halves as Blackburn Rovers snatched a point they scarcely deserved against Burnley in the derby at Ewood Park.

But after helping deny the Clarets a first win against their rivals in 34 years, Jones - having made the switch across the divide - believes Burnley can end that miserable statistic today.

The 28-year-old made 12 appearances for Rovers last season, while on loan from Wigan Athletic.

And, indeed, he was linked with a return this summer.

However, Sean Dyche stole in to convince him to move to Turf Moor, and join the group of players to represent both clubs.

The former Manchester United youngster said: “Last season it was a loan move just to get me games, which I did.

“I played 12 games but that’s in the past now and I’m looking forward.

“I wasn’t there that long, so it wasn’t as if I had a big history there, I feel like I belong here now.

“I’m just focused on the game, and hopefully getting a good result.”

Burnley and Rovers drew 1-1 twice last season, and Jones hopes the Clarets can have the upper hand this time: “I didn’t see the first game at Turf Moor but obviously I played in the second game.

“I was chatting to my dad about the game the other day and we were just impressed with how Burnley played in that game, especially in the first half.

“I know they had a man sent off and that changed the game a bit, but there was a lot of good quality and I was impressed with how they played.

“This year, I think, with a bit more belief to cross the finish line and win, I think we’ve definitely got a good chance.

“It’s about time Burnley won the derby, we’ll definitely be up for it, but we have to play with calm heads and take the emotion out of it - business as usual.”

The relief was palpable at Ewood Park in March when David Dunn - some three yards off-side - netted an equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time.

There was a fear of losing the bragging rights after all this time, and Jones admitted: “It’s natural, in the game at Ewood there was tension - you don’t want to be part of the team that ends the run, so I’m sure they will be quite edgy about it.

“It’s an important game, but we need to put the emotion aside.

“I know it’s difficult with the fans, and the occasion, but we have to focus, get three points and carry on our good start to the season.

“It’s still very early days, but we’re doing well, building a good, solid team.

“We’ve still got some improvements to make, but it’s been a good start.”

Dunn - who has scored in four games against the Clarets - could well miss the clash, but if he makes it, Jones expects him to be a key figure: “He’s quite a vocal character and you know how much the club means to him.

“He is an influential guy around the dressing room, and he does inspire teammates, so he’s someone who’s very important for them, especially in games like this because he’s lived here and knows what it means to both sets of fans.

“He passes that on to the players and I’m sure they’ll be up for it as we will be as well.

“He’s a dangerous player, he’s getting into the stage of his career where he doesn’t play every game, but he’s a really good player, a big threat and someone we’ll have to watch out for.

“I’ve trained with him and played with him, so hopefully I’ll have an insight on how to handle him.”

Asked about his equaliser, Jones smiled: “He’s a big player, it was still a difficult chance, but he took it.

“I think he was off-side, I’m pretty sure he was!

“But he’s not the type of character to freeze in those situations.”