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Burnley boss hopes for third time lucky
SEAN Dyche wants to make it third time lucky in his quest for derby honours with the Clarets.
The Burnley boss will become the first since Harry Potts in the late 1970s to take charge of the team in three battles with Blackburn Rovers when the rivals meet at Turf Moor tomorrow (kick-off 12.15pm).
“It’s an interesting one for me having a third chance to change history,” said Dyche, noting that East Lancashire enemies had met only 10 times in the last 34 years.
Even so, the Clarets chief is determined to shift the balance back in Burnley’s favour after two near misses last season.
Both Championship clashes ended in 1-1 draws, the first at Turf Moor last December through sub Sam Vokes’ late equaliser, then again at Ewood Park in March when Jason Shackell’s opener was cancelled out, somewhat controversially, by David Dunn.
Dyche felt hard done to on both occasions. But he feels such recent disappointment can be of benefit to his side.
“Two thirds of the squad have been through it before so they’ll know. I don’t have to build it up,” he said.
“Equally I think we’ve become quite a level group with our thoughts on every game so I don’t think I have to play it down too much.
“I’ve learnt from last year and what it means. It’s any other game in the fact that you get three points and that’s what we’re after, but of course it’s more important than that.”
There are no shortage of incentives for the Clarets. Should they win the 100th competitive game against Rovers they would jump from third to top spot, albeit possibly for only a few hours given the early kick-off.
But Dyche is not getting ahead of himself.
“We’re looking for the players to build on what they’ve been doing generally and I think they’ve been delivering good performances off the pitch in training and on the pitch when required to win football matches,” said the Burnley boss.
“The reality is we’ve made a really promising start, we know it’s a long campaign, we can’t and we don’t get too carried away with it.
“I’m not playing it down, but I’ve got to be realistic, it’s five games in and a couple of cup games.”
Blackburn Rovers have been dealt a blow with Dunn ruled out following minor knee surgery this week.
But Dyche is not reading too much into the midfielder’s absence.
“I know he’s got a history with the games and even last season with the decision that went against us. He’s a very experienced player and a good player for them,” he added.
“But I think it’s fair to say they’ve got quite a big squad though so I don’t think there’ll be any lack of players who can go into their team and try to perform for them.”
* Burnley defender Joseph Mills’ loan deal with League One Oldham has been extended until October 13.
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