Jon Dahl Tomasson knows the importance of a positive result against Burnley for the Rovers supporters as well as their top six aspirations.
Victory over the Clarets would end a 13-year wait against their rivals and go a long way to securing a play-off spot, with the prospect of moving up to fifth in the table.
The already-promoted Clarets won the reverse fixture at Turf Moor in November, and can secure the title were they to back up that 3-0 victory.
But Tomasson believes his side have come a long way since and will be up for the challenge at Ewood Park with so much riding on the game.
“The derbies are brilliant, special moments, passion, and the way the fans think about the game is extremely important, not just because of the position of the league table, but the tradition and that’s nice,” Tomasson said.
“It’s a great game, first of all every game at this stage is important, but it seems more important when it’s those derbies, especially for our fans, and against a Burnley team who are a very good team.
“They are a team with Premier League experience, parachute money, and we are a team who haven’t been successful for many years and are under construction.
“They were favourites to win the league, they won the league, that’s not always easy but when you’re spending a lot of money, above £30m, you should be able to win the league.
“But still it’s not always easy and all the credit to the players, staff and coach from Burnley for being the best team in the league and playing good football.”
Tomasson feels his side have come a long way since the Turf Moor meeting, and takes plenty of encouragement from recent performances, even if his side are on a run of six games without a win.
“We played against a Burnley team who were more mature in a lot of things, but we were in the game for a long time and now we’re a different side.
“My eyes don’t lie, you’ve seen the same, I think we’ve improved a lot.
“It sounds crazy when we’ve not won a lot of games lately to talk about the performances we’ve had, especially when you’re addicted to winning like I am, and knowing how important winning is.
“It’s an interesting game and good opportunity to have a good performance and also a win.”
Avoiding defeat would stop the Clarets securing the title at Ewood Park, but Tomasson insisted: “I don’t think about them, I think about ourselves and that we do well.
“We want to show everyone that we can compete with every team in the league.
“First of all it should be a great atmosphere inside the stadium, should be cheering for the team, like they have done a lot of times, but always with respect and we don’t do any unnecessary things.”
Burnley are averaging 65 per cent of possession across their 43 matches to date, but Rovers’ figure has been slowly rising as the season has gone on.
That’s why Tomasson doesn’t see it as a foregone conclusion that the visitors will dominate the ball.
“We know they will try and dominate the ball, that’s the way they’re trying to do, overload and getting the right players into one-v-one situations and they have quality in those positions.
“It’s great, we should enjoy and we are enjoying it (the play-off battle), not only our league, League One, all those leagues there is something to play for and it’s about emotion and feelings and ups and downs like an emotional rollercoaster.
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