Austin: Derby win can be Burnley catalyst
CHARLIE Austin believes ‘making history’ with an East Lancashire derby win could prove a spark to Burnley’s Championship finale – after admitting the size of the Clarets v Rovers clash took him by surprise last time round.
Burnley’s top scorer played in the 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers earlier this season and, having not featured in many derbies previously in his career, admits the atmosphere was even better than he expected.
Now, as Burnley travel to Ewood Park tomorrow looking to end their 34 years of derby hurt, Austin believes victory could be a boost for the remainder of the campaign.
The Clarets go into the game with just one win in nine games, while Rovers are without a win in six league games, as both look to ease any lingering fears about the drop.
Austin said: “I didn’t play in a Swindon v Oxford derby, I played in Swindon v Bristol Rovers but it is nothing compared to this.
“That was some atmosphere we had at Turf Moor and on Sunday and it will be the same.
“It did surprise me a bit. There was a lot of talk about the derby last time and you couldn’t get away from it, I didn’t realise how good the atmosphere would be though.
“The away fans at Burnley are great, and on Sunday 4,000 fans will get right behind us and hopefully we can put in a really good performance for them.
“The last one lived up to expectations for sure. It is a massive game in the season and the game every Burnley fan looks for in the calendar.
“We will be part of history if we win the game but it is just another 90 minutes. Putting the derby aside, getting three points is the main thing we are looking for.
“Everyone is going to be up for it, if we could get the three points maybe we could kick on.”
He added: “I have never been to Ewood Park, I have only seen it on the TV and I am really looking forward to it.
“As a professional you live to play in these games.
“I don’t think you could say who are favourites. It is going to be a tight game.
“You have good nerves because everyone wants to play in these games, it is going to be a massive game. ”
The derby at Ewood on Sunday will boast two of the division’s sharpshooters, with Austin on 23 league goals in 32 games and Jordan Rhodes having scored 22 league goals in 35 games for Rovers.
The duo have been stealing a lot of the headlines going into the clash, but Austin insists it doesn’t matter who scores the goals.
“We know we have to go into it and try and get three points, that is the main thing for us,” he said.
“Everyone has to score the goals it is not just me. Hopefully those chances come our way and we win the game.”
Austin believes the Clarets could have taken the victory in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, despite only equalising late in the match.
Austin added: “Paul Robinson has made a great save from Sam Vokes in injury time at Turf Moor and we could have won the game 2-1.
“We should have capitalised on that and we should have done a few times. We will be going into the game confident though we can get three points.”
Austin is also happy to set aside personal targets and glory as long as the Clarets are smiling come Sunday afternoon.
“It has been a good season for me,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for more. Hopefully I can get a few more between now and the end of the season. I just want to score as many goals as I can for Burnley football club.
“It doesn’t matter who scores, we just need three points.”