(Photo by Shaun Botterill)
Between you and me, general internet population, for the most part Lancashire derbies don't really deserve the name. Perhaps it's just the sheer number of clubs in the area which waters down rivalries, or perhaps the plethora of "big clubs" overshadows the smaller ones, but whatever the reason, generally Lancs derbies are nothing to write home about.
And I think it's fair to say that Bolton new boy Medo Kamara certainly won't be writing home about Bolton's match against Blackburn today. Having been part of the the "Eternal" derby in Belgrade, when he played for Partizan against the club's rival Red Star, he's seen the real deal. Ahead of the match Medo said,
I have been in a lot of derbies and I know what they are like. In Serbia it is very difficult - so I am sure I'll be okay. A derby in Belgrade is crazy, there is always fighting. Fighting on the pitch, fighting in the crowd, it is mad. So this one should be easy.
It's quite physical but I'm used to those kind of games so I think I will cope. Fighting in football is no problem for me and that's what it seems to be in the Championship. It is different from the Premier League but it is nothing strange to me.
I'm happy so far. I was in pre-season before I came here so the coach knew what he was doing with me. Now I want to get into the team. I'm wishing for a start now. I appreciate I have got to work to get in there but that is my aim now, a regular start.
Given that being stabbed is a possibility in the Belgrade derby, I think it is fair to say that Medo will be ale to handle the intensity of a Bolton-Blackburn derby. The physicality which marked those games will also help him, as what the match may lack in atmosphere, it will make up for in that arena.
Medo also spoke about his role in the dressing room, and when asked about playoffs, this is what he said,
That's what everyone is playing for. I have been telling some of the boys to go game after game, not to look ahead further than the next one. We have been in a good spell and we need to continue with that...
[T]he training now and the training before [are] completely different. The tempo is really high and the gaffer has done his best to get us in shape and make us ready for every game. The mentality has to be different too. Everyone has the winning mentality now.
And when I came the first thing I said to my friends was that most of the players were used to playing in Premier League, so it is very different. I think that was a problem before, but now I think we are becoming a good team.
Hopefully he's right, and Bolton are on their way up. A win against Blackburn would certainly help solidify that.