Managers go head-to-head at Blackburn Rovers v Burnley derby
SUNDAY won’t be the first time Sean Dyche and Michael Appleton have gone head-to-head this season.
Although Appleton was in charge of Blackpool after leaving Portsmouth to replace Ian Holloway when the first East Lancashire derby took place in December, both he and Dyche had already competed against each other, behind the scenes – perhaps unwittingly at that point.
The management duo were among the names on the Burnley board’s list in their search for a new boss when Eddie Howe left to return to Bournemouth in October.
Dyche ultimately won the race for the Turf Moor hotseat, while Appleton went on to stun football by making his second managerial move of the season.
Appleton sensationally quit Blackpool to move a few miles down the road to Ewood Park.
The straight-talking Mancunian will be keen to show the Clarets what they missed.
But Dyche will not want to pass up the chance to win favour back with the fans and etch his name in Clarets folklore with a first Burnley win for 34 years.
The board had seen something in Dyche that pinpointed him as a winner; the man to bring the good times back to Turf Moor.
That proved to be the case for a spell after he took charge.
A dip in form has led to disillusionment among some fans.
Results at home have been particularly disappointing of late.
But three points on Sunday will go a long way to winning over the sceptics.