Clear minds vital for Derby - Dyche
Sean Dyche has called on his Burnley players to keep their composure amid the white-hot atmosphere of the east Lancashire derby against Blackburn.
Burnley welcome Rovers to Turf Moor tomorrow looking to inflict a third consecutive npower Championship defeat on their fierce rivals, who have endured a rocky start to life under new boss Henning Berg.
Dyche's transition replacing Eddie Howe in the Clarets' hotseat has appeared far smoother and a first victory in the fixture for 33 years would see them climb above Blackburn in the table.
The Burnley boss said: "The mentality of these occasions can spill into how the game actually works - the feel of it, the tempo of it.
"But within that it's important to have clear minds. I'll be speaking to the players about clear minds, concentrating and focusing.
"While you have to be aware of what the opposition offer you, it's important to remember what we're doing and what we're about.
"We go into it with a good mentality at the moment and a nice, solid confidence to what we're doing."
Such confidence was not in evidence when Rovers came out on the wrong side of a local argument earlier this week, succumbing 2-1 to Bolton at Ewood Park.
The hosts were behind to a Kevin Davies strike inside two minutes and would have been on the end of a considerably less-flattering scoreline were it not for the heroics of goalkeeper Paul Robinson, before Jordan Rhodes reduced the arrears.
"If we start the Burnley game the way we finished the Bolton one we will be fine," said Berg. "If we don't we will be in big trouble.
"We don't play football just for fun, this is our profession. With that comes a worth ethic and standards that have to be met.
"Professional footballers have to be able to learn to take defeat and handle wins.
"That is a big part of football and I expect them to be ready for Sunday."
The match is being billed in some quarters as a showdown between the Championship's two supreme goal poachers.
Rhodes has continued his free-scoring ways since moving to Blackburn for a club-record #8million fee from Huddersfield, while Burnley striker Charlie Austin is the country's top scorer with an astonishing 21 goals to his name this season.
Clarets captain Jason Shackell has to contend with Austin in training on a daily basis and is relishing the challenge of lining up at centre-back with the intention of thwarting Scotland international Rhodes.
The former Derby man said: "I've played with Chaz and I'm aware of his attributes. He's a very good player and he's obviously done fantastically for us this year.
"I don't know Jordan quite as well, but he's scored a lot of goals over the last few years so it's going to be a good game for us to test ourselves as a defence. These are the players you want to be playing against.
"Not any player should bring fear. It's much more relish of testing ourselves against a very good side.
"We know if we keep as organised and as hard working as we have been then we can get a good result and, hopefully, keep Jordan quiet."