Full back Tendayi Darikwa is eagerly anticipating his first taste of the East Lancashire derby at Ewood Park.
The former Spireite, who made the switch from the Proact Stadium to Turf Moor in the summer, has played in the Chesterfield-Mansfield derby and featured in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final defeat to Peterborough last year in front of 35,663 fans at Wembley.
A few of the boys have told me that the atmosphere is really intenseTendayi Darikwa
However, the 23-year-old accepts that he won’t have experienced anything like the hostility that is expected against Rovers. “We’ve got the big one,” he said. “It’s going to be a first taste of it for me so if the manager picks me I’m really looking forward to it.
“A few of the boys have told me that the atmosphere is really intense so if I play then I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve played in a Chesterfield/Mansfield game which is a derby and I’ve played in the JPT final at Wembley which was a good occasion. As far as derbies go this is going to be the biggest one.”
He added: “I’ve been warned about the abuse from the stands, a few nasty tackles but it’s part and parcel of football when you have these local games. These are the games as players that you want to play in.
“The bigger the game then the more exciting it is to wake up on a match day. You want to play in these games. We’ll go there well supported, well prepared for the game and hopefully we can get the three points to send the fans back happy.”