Burnley skipper ready to rewrite history
CLARETS captain Jason Shackell is ready to write a new chapter in East Lancashire derby history at Turf Moor today.
The defender came close to giving Burnley a long-awaited win over arch rivals Blackburn Rovers in their last meeting, only to see his opening goal at Ewood Park controversially cancelled out by David Dunn in stoppage time.
But after building up to the big one with a cup win against neighbours Preston and 3-0 win at old club Derby County, the defender is ready to triumph at Turf Moor.
“We were frustrated after last year but that was last season now and we’re looking forward. We’ve made a good start and will be looking to go and get all three points,” said the skipper.
That Dunn drama still smarts, but Shackell added: “Those decisions do happen. It was a shame it had to be in that game and at that moment but they do happen.
“That’s in the past now. We need to make sure we go out there and make sure we get the win this year.
“It means a huge amount to the fans and in the squad we know that. But at the same time we need to keep our heads and make sure we prepare for every game.
“Obviously there’s a bit of added spice and when we beat Blackburn it will be a nice cherry on top.”
The 29-year-old believes the Clarets can make the most of home advantage today and end the derby hoodoo.
“It just oozes from the crowd on to the pitch and you can feel it as soon as you walk out of that tunnel,” Shackell added. “You know how much they want that win.
“It’s great to have the fans behind you like that and give you that extra bit of desire to push on.
“They’re here earlier, they’re louder than normal, there’s that edge and there’s normally more of them. It’s just a great day, a great day to be involved in as a fan, a player and I’m sure as a manager. For me, just leading out the team, it’s great.
“The home fans last year were fantastic in all the derbies but especially Blackburn, you just feel the energy around the place.
“Hopefully when we come out all the Blackburn fans are cheering and when we come back in they’re all depressed. That would be the perfect day and it would mean a lot to all of us.
“The fans let you know regularly that it’s been 34 years since we’ve beaten them. I was told the other day that it’s our 100th meeting, so it’s all set up lovely for us to put all that to bed.”
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