Big Sam wants derby win wrapped up

17 October 2009 11:11
Allardyce turns 55 on Monday and hopes he will have plenty to celebrate following the encounter with the Clarets at Ewood Park.

He said: "It would be a nice early birthday present for me if the lads can pull it off.

"For the fans we feel we have to win. We know the responsibility that lies on us.

"I'm sure many Blackburn and Burnley fans work together and we want the Blackburn fans to go home as happy as they can be and looking forward to getting up and going to work on Monday morning and bumping into that Burnley fan, saying 'We've got one over on you'."

Allardyce, though, has warned his players to be aware of their responsibilities and keep the red mist at bay in the heat of the battle.

The events in last month's Manchester derby have focused the spotlight on player behaviour and the passions at Ewood Park are likely to be no less intense.

Allardyce said: "It's a huge responsibility, not only for the players but the fans and the officials.

"I will be emphasising to my players not to over-react which can happen with the adrenaline rush which comes in this particular derby.

"Sometimes the red light comes on, the red mist comes down and I hope that's not going to be any of our players on Sunday.

"I'm not trying to put any extra more pressure on the officials - Chris Foy and his assistants are very experienced so they will understand what it's about.

"Chris will have handled derby matches before and will know what's going on and calming players down with the right word in their ear at the right time will be very important."

The clubs' last meeting came in 2005 in the FA Cup fifth round, when Rovers triumphed in a replay, but Burnley won the last top-flight encounter back on New Year's Day, 1966.

For the last two decades, however, the Clarets have been in the shadow of their rivals - Blackburn are currently on the longest-ever consecutive run in the top flight.

Allardyce explained: "This match has been talked about since Burnley got promoted as it has been so long since they met each other in the league.

"We have been in the Premier League for 10 years now and are an established top-flight side so that means everyone expects us to win but it's not like that in a derby.

"Form goes out the window and it's about who copes with that extra pressure the best.

"We have to have controlled aggression in the right areas and not get involved in any of the atmosphere that may cause you to go over the top and get booked or sent off.

"I hope it's a competitive rivalry without something that's going to go to far. The place is going to be packed to the rafters and that's what you want when you wake up in the morning looking forward to the game."

Vince Grella misses out after he picked up a thigh injury on international duty with Australia while Steven Reid (Achilles) is also missing, but goalkeeper Paul Robinson and centre-backs Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba have recovered from knocks.

Source: Team_Talk