Midfielder David Jones has urged Burnley to play with their heads, not their hearts, as they look to complete a first league double over old enemy Blackburn Rovers since 1979.
Jones has played on both sides of the divide, featuring on loan for Rovers in the Clarets’ 2-1 win at Ewood Park in 2014, and earlier this season in claret and blue as Scott Arfield scored the only goal.
Burnley are pushing for promotion back to the Premier League, with Rovers 16th, 15 points adrift of the top six, and 11 clear of the bottom three.
And Jones said: “Fans mention it to you, so you’re always aware of it. It’s always there. You’ve got to separate the emotion from these derby games.
“You see what it meant to us, winning at Ewood. On the pitch you could see it in our faces probably, and in our celebrations when Scotty scored and ran the length of the pitch.
“You see what it means to the fans, it’s only natural human emotion that it’s going to mean more to you.
“But as a professional, you have to separate that and focus on the job in hand.
“It’s how you deal with these emotions. I always think that the players who are the most successful, and teams who are the most successful, are the ones who deal with these emotions the best.
“It’s not about ignoring them, it’s about dealing with them the best in order to be able to perform with those emotions bubbling away.”
Each game is similarly important for Burnley at present, and Jones added: “For the fans, this is the big one. But for us each game is massive at the moment and we’re just looking to continue what we’ve been doing, and it starts again on Saturday. We’re just going to continue with the good mentality we’ve been showing.”