Being a particularly well-endowed footballing county, Lancashire derbies have been a dime a dozen for a while now. However, one in particular has held a special spite, especially after Bolton poached a certain charming Scotsman. Tomorrow, Burnley is coming to the 'Bok, and we've asked Adam Haworth of the excellent Burnley blog No Nay Never to give us the scoop on our claret neighbours.
Last time we spoke, you said "Coyle effectively ripped the heart out of our club in what was meant to be a dream season, and we were forced to make our youth team coaches manage the first team for one or two games - we were left with no back room staff." Were you pleased to see him crash and burn this season at Bolton? Now that he's gone, do you think there will still be vitriol for Bolton, or will this now become just another Lancashire derby?
Adam Haworth: I think any Lancashire derby holds some vitriol. I wasn't exactly pleased to see him crash and burn - he's a human being like any of these, but some of his statements in the aftermath regarding his value as a manager were enough to remind me why I didn't like him so much. But over the last few months, it's been interesting to see how subconsciously my hatred for Bolton has reduced significantly.
At the beginning of the season, you said you wanted the Clarets to be pushing for playoff places. The club had a rocky start, but are now in 7th and seem to be leveling out. There's still a lot of season to go, but do you see this as a sustainable improvement? What has helped the club rise from midtable?
AH: Sean Dyche's arrival has been a real catalyst, he's brought the team together and started to make them play. We were really inconsistent defensively under Eddie Howe, but Dyche has at least gone part way to solving that problem. We're certainly not great yet and we need to be winning games to remain at the top end of the table but 7th is good for me, for the time being and I guess as fans we have to not get carried away with ourselves and accept where we end up at the end of the season. Anything above 10th is an achievement.
Charlie Austin, who came to Turf Moor in January 2011 from Swindon Town, has been having a great season. Thus far he's scored 21 goals in 25 league appearances, becoming the fastest-ever player to reach 20 goals for Burnley. Are you pleased to have held onto him this transfer window? Do you expect the rest of the season to be as profitable for the 23 year old?
AH: Yes, I'm very pleased to hold on to Charlie - I didn't really expect to lose him just yet, but we didn't receive any massive bids for him (we're talking £10m+ in my opinion). He's been great but has relied on awesome distribution from the likes of Kieran Trippier and Junior Stanislas. He made his comeback from injury last Saturday and scored within two minutes, so if that's anything to go by, he's gonna continue to deliver, but form is a strange thing and there are many variables that control it. Who knows? I hope so. We all expect to lose him at the end of this season.
Were you pleased with the club's dealings in the transfer window? Do you see this as a strong squad, especially with promotion looking more likely, or do you think there's still a lot of work to do in the summer?
AH: We didn't do any business, other than a few loans out to lower league club for younger players. We brought Dane Richards in on a pre-contractual agreement but that's something we've known about for a while now. It's been good to not be busy, we have a solid enough squad in the first place, in my opinion.
Finally, can I get a prediction for the match?
AH: 2-1 to us.
Thanks again to Adam for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to check out No Nay Never for a Burnley perspective on the match.