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Derby day key for out of form Rovers
10:30am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Sport
BLACKBURN Rovers have lost many of the reasons to be really proud about their football club over the past couple of years – but one bragging right remains intact.
Rovers entertain East Lancashire rivals Burnley at Ewood Park on Sunday having not lost to them for 34 years and it is something they have been able to hold over the Clarets, despite a calamitous fall from grace.
It would seem though that many supporters see victory against Burnley on Sunday as far more important than any place at Wembley.
This match is their chance to stamp their superiority over their rivals and give them something to shout about over them, at last.
There is no doubt what it means to the supporters but we won’t know what it means to the players until we see them go at it on Sunday lunchtime.
When Rovers played Burnley in the Premier League, their quality ultimately told but this time you get the feeling it will be the team that fights the hardest who will secure the bragging rights.
At the moment surely not even the staunchest of Rovers or Burnley fans would argue against the fact that neither of their sides are particularly good at the moment. The Championship table tells us that.
Neither Sean Dyche or Michael Appleton have been completely taken to the hearts of their supporters and, make no mistake, a local derby win could go a long way to winning some popularity stakes.
Opinion certainly seems to be split on Appleton with some pointing to his record as simply not good enough and others confident, in time, he will get it right. A win on Sunday would surely help in making the latter group bigger.
A defeat is unthinkable for Rovers fans though.
Defeat would also leave Rovers looking anxiously over their shoulders at the relegation zone. Appleton has continually stressed one of his priorities is to bring the feel-good factor back to Ewood Park and there is no better way to do that than by beating Burnley. If things had been different, Appleton could even have been lining up in the away team dug out on Sunday.
Neither team go into Sunday’s derby in good league form but what better way to spark a turnaround? For the losers, a difficult end to the campaign could be in store.
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