Enormity of East Lancs derby took defender Duff by surprise

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Defender Michael Duff conceded that the enormity of the East Lancashire derby took him by surprise in his first season as a Claret.

The 37-year-old played in the 2005 FA Cup clash against Rovers at Turf Moor under former boss Steve Cotterill following his £30,000 move from Cheltenham.

Michael Duff challenges Brett Emerton in his first experience of the derby

Michael Duff challenges Brett Emerton in his first experience of the derby

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After the 0-0 draw, Duff the featured in the replay at Ewood Park 12 days later when Morten Gamst Pedersen netted a late winner after Micah Hyde’s spectacular strike had cancelled out Tugay’s opener.

“Back then it did because not being from the area I didn’t really know that much about it as regards the importance of it,” he said. “It’s not the sort of derby that rolls off the tongue like a Manchester United v Manchester City or Tottenham v Arsenal. But being up here a long time now you realise the importance of it to the supporters.”

Duff added: “I don’t need to say anything (to the new lads), they’ll find out within a couple of minutes.

As soon as you step out into the stadium and the noise that gets made you soon realise it’s an important game

Sean Dyche

“Everyone’s fully aware, and even if you’re not as soon as you step out into the stadium and the noise that gets made you soon realise it’s an important game.”

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