John Eustace is relishing his first taste of the East Lancashire derby now that Rovers’ fixture list has been confirmed.

The fierce rivalry will be renewed following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League, and Eustace’s men are set to make the short trip to Turf Moor on Saturday, August 31.

The return fixture at Ewood Park is scheduled for Saturday, January 4 as Rovers will be out for revenge after Manuel Benson’s strike saw the Clarets clinch the Championship title last time.

Eustace knows how much the fixture means to the fanbase and is determined to produce a performance supporters will be “proud” of.

“It is an excellent, tough derby and that is what you want,” he told RoversTV, “We know it’s about the bragging rights and it is something that I will be very much keen on doing.

“It’s important, home and away, we go there and give them a really tough game and make sure they know that Blackburn Rovers are a top team.

“We will be rolling our sleeves up and we will make sure we give a good fight and account of ourselves.

“They are one-off games and form kind of goes out the window. It is about making sure that the fans are proud of the performance, and most of the time that is by winning games.

“What a great two games it is going to be. I am glad they got relegated to the Championship and we stayed up, now we can have a couple of great games against them.”

Rovers welcome newly-promoted Derby to Ewood Park on the opening day and it will be a special game for Eustace, who had a couple of spells at Pride Park during his playing career.

The Rams finished second in League One last term under Paul Warne, securing a return to the second tier after a couple of years away.

Rovers also have fixtures against Norwich and Oxford before they head to Burnley, and Eustace is determined to hit the ground running in his first full season at Ewood Park.

“Friday night, live on Sky as well, what an exciting first game of the season it is – against a fantastic club, one of my old clubs in Derby County,” he added.

“I’m sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere and one that we will all look forward to. The most important thing is that we start the season well.

“We have got a good opportunity with Derby, Oxford, Burnley – we have got some really exciting teams coming up early on and it is important we stamp our authority on what we want to do this season.”