Derby occasion will get to some players, says Blackburn Rovers legend Bryan Douglas (From This Is Lancashire)
Derby occasion will get to some players, says Blackburn Rovers legend Bryan Douglas
ROVERS legend Bryan Douglas hopes the current crop of Ewood players don’t underestimate the importance of next weekend’s East Lancashire derby.
Douglas, 79, believes many of Gary Bowyer’s team will only understand the magnitude of the match once they take to the field next weekend.
“Spectators are up for it, everybody is up for it, and it will get to some of the players,” said Douglas who scored 115 goals in 503 games for Rovers between 1952 and 1969, said.
He added: “I’ll admit it nearly got to me when I played.
“But you’ve got to keep a calm head and remember it’s only one game of football.
“Since I finished playing I’ve met lots of Burnley players I played against and we’re great friends.
“But you know in those 90 minutes you’re not just playing for yourself and for the thousands of people watching you, but for your whole town. It can get to you.
“I’m sure David Dunn will be telling them but they’ll certainly realise after five minutes what’s happening. They’ll be wiser after the event.”
Douglas is a derby veteran but there is one meeting with Burnley in particular that stands out – the FA Cup quarter-final of 1960.
He said: “The one that goes down in memory of course was when Burnley were beating us 3-0 with 20 minutes to go and we managed to get a draw out of it before beating them in the replay.”
Douglas started the fightback at Turf Moor that day by converting a 75th-minute penalty.
Peter Dobing reduced the deficit further before Mick McGrath equalised.
Rovers won the replay 2-0 – in front of 53,839 supporters at Ewood Park – and then beat Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals 2-1 before losing the final 3-0 to Wolves.
Douglas remains a regular at Ewood but will watch the first derby of the 2013-14 season from home.
He added: “I go to the games when I can but I’m not going to the Burnley match because there’s so much aggro.
“You’ve got to be there two hours before the kick-off and they close the roads, so I’ll watch it on TV.
“Rovers seem to have improved, even though there’s room for further improvement, and I’m glad Burnley are doing well as I like to see all Lancashire clubs doing well.
“On the day I just hope all our players know exactly what is at stake.”
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