Former Preston North End striker Joe Garner started his career down the road at Ewood Park and he joined iFollow PNE to preview the clash between the two sides on Tuesday night.
The now Wigan Athletic captain will certainly have one eye on the goings on at Deepdale and admits it is a game that he always looked forward to.
“When I played for Preston, it was the game I looked forward to the most – Blackburn and Burnley – when they came out on the fixture list,” said the former PNE No.14.
“We had some good results against them and I am sure the fans will be watching however they can. There were 7,000 there the day we won at Ewood and they are great days – especially when you win.
“Being in the middle of Preston and Blackburn fans I could never win; but when you grow up the derbies are the ones you really look forward to, with all the local bragging rights and tomorrow will be the same and I hope Preston come out with the three points!
“I’ve already had Gally [Paul Gallagher] on the phone and he will be excited and there are a lot of other players who have played in the game before and they know what it is about – because they are massive games – we always knew that and local lads will be getting into everyone else to tell them how important it is and they just need to come away with the three points.”
Garns’ goal in 2-1 win at Ewood Park in April 2016 became an iconic goal, with his special celebration and he admits that he still gets stock for it now.
“Those are the sort of memories you can create in a derby game,” he continued. “I had a lot of mates in the Blackburn end. We won 2-1 and they went down to ten men and I had a bit of banter with a few of the lads in the Blackburn end.
“I still get a bit a stick when I go there because of that. I went there with Wigan not too long ago and they still remembered it in the Blackburn end – it is all a bit of good fun and banter and hopefully we can win 2-1 tomorrow as well!”
So, what will a derby day be like without supporters? “If I’m being honest, it is not the same at all,” added the now 32-year-old. “But it is what it is. It won’t be the same on and off the pitch, but it is still for three points and I am sure the lads will be prepared well and looking to go out to win.
“I have found it really tough. It is a totally different game. People end up talking on the pitch like mates with the opposition and it not the same. We have found it difficult.”
There’s more from Joe in the interview at the top of the page, as he reflects on the move to Euxton – where he has spent the last 18 months with Wigan Athletic.
The only place you can watch this Tuesday’s game is on iFollow PNE, when Paul McKenna will be joining Jonathan Breeze for all the action from 7.15pm. Click here now to sign up for a match pass for just £10.