Rovers hope to ‘move past’ Preston North End, with Tony Mowbray knowing three points at Ewood Park this afternoon would move them level on points with their near neighbours.

One point from their last six derby meetings with North End means bragging rights have been few and far between for Rovers supporters.

While Mowbray is full of admiration for the work been done at Deepdale, he hopes Rovers can usurp North End as both challenge for a top six spot in the remaining months of the season.

Both are without a win in five, and in need of a filip, which would come for whoever is victorious the afternoon.

“They have a good manager, they have got good backing and support behind them. They don’t spend lots of money but they do it very professionally,” Mowbray said of today’s visitors.

“They recruit very well you’d have to say. I don’t think there a club for surprise signings, I think they buy from the market place they know.

“I’d like to think at this moment we’re competing with them, and them with us. They have missed out on the play-offs the last couple of years but have in the division more consistently than we have since I have been here, we spent a year in League One, and they have been trying to break in to that play-off zone.

“It’s the same this year. For us, our target would be to try and move past them, as we’ll try and do this year, and finish above all our rivals, and challenge for the top six and see where it takes us.”

Mowbray believes recruiting overseas talent can give Rovers an edge over their rivals, believing that can help shift them from a packed mid-table to genuine promotion challengers.

Citing the work of Brentford, whose excellent recent form has lifted them to third, Mowbray feels that is a model Rovers can follow and is why the club is investing in their recruitment department.

A new overseas scout is expected to arrive in the near future to boost that further, but despite their best efforts in the summer, Rovers’ transfer business focused on the domestic market.

“My vision has always been for this club to go beyond that market place and go to an international market place,”Mowbray explained.

“You see the teams who are all threatening the top places all seem to have a cluster of foreign talent.

“Brentford jumps to mind, they’re third in the league with lots of talented foreign imports, bought relatively cheaply, but if you look for what they sell for, buying and selling is their model, buy for £1m and sell for £20m.

“They have done that with a few, Neal Maupay, Chris Mepham, they’ve done it pretty consistently.

“We’re trying to break in to that market, getting people out on the ground, scouts watching not just the lower leagues in this country where you can get it right sometimes.

“As Preston have found, you can bring them in, polish them up and have some assets on your hands.”

Preston came from 2-0 down to win the reverse fixture and were victorious at Ewood Park in March.

And while the game will undoubtedly mean a lot to supporters, Mowbray says the players too are itching to come out on top this afternoon to get their season back on track after a difficult spell of late.

He added: “I’m more concerned about the players getting revved up than the fans.

“Supporters, they want to win these games, they probably work with people who support Preston North End.

“It’s a big game for us. The performance in the games has generally been okay, we just haven’t been consistent enough.

“They won 1-0 at Ewood last year, a pretty early goal, and then my recollection is that we played pretty well but couldn’t score.

“Let’s see if we can put it right. It’s the next game, we talk about accumulating points, this is a local derby and we need to be at it

“I always say with this team we feel we can beat anyone at home, whether it’s Leeds, West Brom or Preston, whoever.

“We have a belief going in to this game, that will be our attitude, the mindset, and know it will be a tough day.

“Let’s look forward to the game, the fans turn out in numbers and cheer their team on.”