PLAYING and scoring against Liverpool were among the highlights of my Blackburn Rovers career.

Back then they were one of the top teams in the world but we ran them very close.

The closest we came was in 1991 when we were just 30 seconds away from knocking them out of the FA Cup.

Famously Mark Atkins put through his own net with virtually the last kick of the game and afterwards Jimmy Hill blamed the ball girl for it on Match of the Day.

He absolutely slaughtered her and all because she threw the ball back to Liverpool quickly.

They took a quick throw-in and moments later Mark had turned the ball into his own net.

I felt really sorry for the ball girl, as did a lot of people in Blackburn, and she ended up getting a free ticket for a game because she was so upset about it.

I certainly didn’t blame her – I blamed Mark! It was only when I left the club to join West Brom that I forgave him!

We lost the replay at Anfield but that first match proved that you just never know.

That’s the attitude the Blackburn players have to take it into Sunday’s quarter-final tie.

There’s no pressure on them and, while they have beaten two Premier League teams to get to this stage, everyone expects a Liverpool win. Everyone is writing them off.

If we’re being honest it is going to be very hard for Gary Bowyer’s side to reach the Wembley semi-finals.

Liverpool are in top form and Coutinho is different class.

But you can’t think about who you are playing, you’ve just got to get your mind right, and for 90 minutes, give it your absolute everything.

When the 90 minutes are over you can go home, reflect on it, watch it back, and say, ‘I played in that game’.

Some of the players in the Blackburn side may never get the chance to play a team of Liverpool’s quality again.

So, as I say, go out there and enjoy it and I’m sure it will be one of the best experiences of their career.

It certainly was for me.