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Coyle catches on to derby rivalry

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16 Oct 2009 12:15:00

Coyle catches on to derby rivalry

Owen Coyle was oblivious to the intensity of Burnley and Blackburn's rivalry - until the moment he became he manager at Turf Moor two years ago. Excitement is building in the north-west for Sunday's east Lancashire derby, which will be the first Barclays Premier League meeting between the two clubs. Having rarely been in the same division in recent years, matches between the Clarets and Rovers have been few and far between - providing little indication of the passions the fixture stirs within the local community. Coyle had a stint as a player at nearby Bolton in the 1990s but still had no idea about the significance of his neighbours' derby. But all that changed in no time once he became Burnley boss, as the importance of "beating the Rovers" became apparent from his first day in the job. "I had two-and-a-half brilliant years at Bolton and absolutely loved it and Blackburn and Burnley were just along the road. But I wasn't aware of the rivalry at all," Coyle confirmed. "But I think I was in the job here five minutes when I came out of a press conference and somebody who worked at the football club came up to me and said `listen, all the best - but make sure you beat the Rovers when you play them!' I thought `we're in a different division to begin with!' But it struck home straightaway, that intense rivalry."


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