Clarets player commentator Phil Bird's is ready for the derbyThe Big One:
It’s almost here: Burnley v Blackburn Rovers at Turf Moor – it’s the one everybody has been waiting for!
We go into the game in decent form. It’s five wins in nine games and four points from two away games. The results at Hull and Barnsley were good and we can be optimistic for the season.
If you discount the loss to Charlton, where a harsh, game-changing sending off played a big part in the result, our home form is also good.
We were particularly impressive in the wins against Bolton, Wolves, Blackpool and Leeds. Those were really solid home performances. What we would do for another on Sunday?
Sean Dyche will have the team fired up. They will be carnivores for a few days, dining on raw meat ready for our Sunday showdown. We need some caution amongst the frenzy, though, as we must keep everybody on the pitch.
April 14, 1979 is a date written in Clarets’ folklore. That was the last time we beat our local rivals in a competitive game. Baddiel, Skinner and Broudie sang about 30 years of hurt. Well it’s 33 years for Burnley fans and it’s time to put that statistic to bed!
We did the double over Rovers in the 1978-79 season. It was 2-1 at home on Boxing Day 1978 with goals from Paul Fletcher and Peter Noble. Colne-born Kevin Hird got a goal back for Blackburn.
It was also 2-1 the following Easter with goals from Tony Morley and Brian Hall. Simon Garner had opened the scoring at Ewood Park. In eight league and cup games since our rivals have had the upper hand. It’s time for change!
I’m not a big fan of early kick-offs. They can affect the atmosphere. We’ve got to make sure Turf Moor is buzzing on Sunday. Everybody needs to be heard. We can roar the lads on to victory on one of the most important dates of the season.
Head to Head:
The Press will bill this as Charlie Austin versus Jordan Rhodes. Both are fantastic strikers and both have had to battle to make their way in the game.
Austin’s bricklaying past is well documented. Similarly Rhodes was ignored by Roy Keane at Ipswich and found himself on loan at Rochdale in our promotion season.
Austin leads the goalscoring charts with an incredible 21 goals. His early goal at Oakwell was his tenth headed goal of the season. It was three games without a goal and I cheekily called it a drought in commentary. It was far from that and he’s ready for Rovers on Sunday.
It’s You, Sir!
Over 2,000 people attended the unveiling of Sir Alex Ferguson’s statue outside Old Trafford.
Eamonn Holmes chaired the ceremony with a number of special guests in attendance. Significantly Roy Keane didn’t show.
It’s a fantastic tribute and it’s great that it’s been done while he is still in charge at Manchester United.
However, I did notice one or two people cheekily suggested it looked more like Edward Woodward in The Equaliser …and there were also suggestions it depicted Ferguson slightly earlier in his career!
Planes, Trains and Automobiles:
My favourite story of the week involves young Japanese journalist Daisuke Nakajima. He writes for Japanese magazine Footballista and his bosses gave him the plum job of covering Rangers’ progress in the Scottish Third Division.
In the words of Peter Kay, Nakajima “booked it, packed it and........” His 6,000-mile journey from Tokyo to Moray to watch the Ibrox giants took him to within a few miles of Borough Briggs football ground when he realised the Elgin City v Rangers league fixture had been called off because too many tickets had been sold!
That’s some hard luck story!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Burnley FC.