LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has labelled the job Gary Bowyer has done at Blackburn Rovers as ‘fantastic’.

Rovers boss Bowyer takes his side to Anfield on Sunday for a hotly anticipated FA Cup quarter-final tie with Rodgers’ in-form Reds.

It will be the first time the teams have met since April 2012 when 10-man Liverpool edged a five-goal thriller at Ewood Park.


That 3-2 defeat edged Rovers, then under the control of Steve Kean, closer to relegation from the Premier League.

The club went through two more permanent managers before it appointed Bowyer on a full-time basis in May 2013.

He led Rovers to within two points of a play-off place in his first season in charge.

But, while a top-six finish looks beyond Rovers this season, victory on Sunday at the ground where the club lifted the Premiership trophy 20 years ago would secure their place in the Wembley semi-finals.

Rodgers, whose side have won 12 and drawn five of their last 18 domestic matches, said: “A couple of years ago it was really difficult for Blackburn but Gary has gone in there as a young manager and done fantastically.

“He’s got some very good players, so we respect the game at the weekend will be tough again.”

The FA Cup final falls on the 35th birthday of departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

And, if the Reds get past Rovers and then win their semi-final, the Wembley showpiece would also mark Gerrard’s final appearance for the club shortly before jetting out to the US to start a new career with LA Galaxy.

But Rodgers said: “That’s the story everyone is trying to follow but they’re forgetting there are some very good teams and very good managers we’ve got to beat to arrive there.

“The script is there but you’ve got to win games.”

First up for Liverpool is a top-flight clash at home to Burnley tomorrow.

On the same night Rovers head to Hillsborough for a Championship encounter with Sheffield Wednesday, who sit one point above Bowyer’s side in the table.

The Rovers boss has rejected media requests to talk about Sunday’s match until after the Owls game is out of the way.