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Blackburn Rovers blog: Crowd deserves praise for derby day conduct
DERBY day is always a stressful day, but Rovers and Clarets fans can both be congratulated for the way they conducted themselves despite the heated occasion.
After just seven arrests, five Rovers fans, one Burnley fan and one unknown, the police issued a thank you to supporters.
And I would like to echo those sentiments as fans of both clubs made for a cracking atmosphere – but a safe one.
The police should be congratulated, too. Some may feel the measures put in place were somewhat draconian, but when a game of this magnitude passes with the vast majority of fans enjoying the day while feeling safe, they have done their job.
I was providing the paper’s live web updates from the Turf and met Rovers legend Kevin Gallagher before the game.
When I asked him of his thoughts ahed of the match, he said he was hopeful it would pass without incident and was memorable for all the right reasons.
He made the point that we could do with the East Lancashire derby becoming a far more regular encounter, not least because then it would lose its novelty value.
And if the novelty value is taken away, then the chance of trouble flaring would more than likely diminish.
I for one would like the game to be a more regular feature on the calendar purely for the excitement it causes.
It is a very under-rated derby, with those not previously involved always shocked at the intensity it brings.
Just see Jason McAteer’s comments after his first trip to the Turf in 2000.
This was a man who previously played in the Merseyside derby, and he said the ferocity was like nothing he had seen before.
The match itself was disappointing from a Blackburn Rovers fan’s point of view.
We were not good enough, considering the importance of this match.
But a draw was a decent result in the end, and now we can all start to look forward to next March when it will be the Clarets fans’ turn to be herded down the M65.
Meanwhile the FA Cup third round draw is always an exciting time, as it is the best chance we can get of a fun away day.
I always dream of an away tie against someone from a lower league, like the time we got Blyth a few years ago (although that almost ended in disaster!) On this occasion, Lincoln or Mansfield would have been fun, as would Harrogate or Hastings.
But not Bristol City. It happens every year and it is always an anti-climax.
Knowing our luck, if we beat Bristol City we’ll probably end up with an away tie against Aston Villa.
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