Blackburn Rovers midfielder now understands magnitude of East Lancashire derby after meeting with Burnley ace

Blackburn Rovers' match-winner Sammie Szmodics now appreciates the magnitude of the East Lancashire derby following a meeting with a former team-mate.

The 27-year-old, who moved to Ewood Park from Peterborough United in the summer, learned the importance of the rivalry after fans reacted to a social media post.

Colchester United's Young Player of the Year award-winner in 2015, who scored the winner against Hull City at the weekend, was blown away by the response to a picture he shared of him alongside Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill.

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The pair only played three times together for Bristol City during the 2019/20 campaign, including a defeat at the hands of Rovers almost three years ago, but they became close friends during their time at Ashton Gate.

Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics scores the opening goal Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Hull City v Blackburn Rovers - Saturday 29th October 2022 - MKM Stadium - Kingston upon Hull World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

They'll both likely be involved when the Championship's current top two meet at Turf Moor next month, just ahead of the start of the World Cup in Qatar.

“I didn’t totally understand it," admitted Szmodics, when speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph. "I knew it was a derby, but there are so many teams up north that I didn’t really realise (how much).

“I posted a photo before of me with one of my friends, Josh Brownhill, who plays for them and not really understanding the rivalry.

“It’s nice to come here and say that it doesn’t change my attitude towards it (the game), if anything it makes me want to smash them more because he’s my mate.”

Burnley's Josh Brownhill looks on Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Birmingham City v Burnley - Wednesday 19th October 2022 - St Andrew's - Birmingham World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

With the Clarets unbeaten against Rovers in seven attempts, winning four of those meetings on the bounce, Szmodics continued: “It’s a game we’re looking forward to.

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“We can’t influence other games, we just have to do our job and keep putting points on the board.

“We’re five games away from the halfway mark in the season and we’re doing well, we just need to keep it going.”