CRAIG Hignett has urged Blackburn Rovers to ensure they are not involved in any final day Premier League drama – allowing the Ewood Park faithful to give Tugay a fitting ‘heroes farewell’.

The former Rovers striker insists a win at home to Portsmouth tomorrow would banish any lingering relegation fears and leave the club free to turn West Brom’s last day visit into a celebration of Tugay’s huge contribution.

The 38-year-old Turk is expected to announce his retirement after the visit of the Baggies on May 24, after eight years in East Lancashire, with Hignett describing his ex team mate as a “club legend”.

Hignett though has warned against complacency in the battle to beat the drop, insisting victory for either Middlesbrough or Newcastle in Monday’s huge North East derby could inspire one of them to safety.

He remains convinced Sunderland and Hull are the only other sides in immediate danger but knows any planned final day tributes could be ruined by the threat of Championship football still hanging over them.

He said: “The last thing Blackburn want is to go into that last day still needing points to guarantee safety. Being honest, I think they already have enough points but there is still the chance of a nervy final day.

“It would be desperately sad if Rovers went into that West Brom game not knowing if they were definitely safe. Tugay might not even be selected if that is the case and the fans would not get the chance to say goodbye.

“He came to the club when I was there and he has been absolutely different class. You can’t underestimate his contribution to the club, I am sure the fans will never forget him. They will want to say goodbye.

“Premier League safety has to come first though and, while I am sure they are already okay, a win on Saturday would be the perfect way to end the threat of a nervy final day of the season.”

Hignett himself is no stranger to Premier League heartbreak, having suffered the pain of relegation twice with Middlesbrough, and is desperate for both his former sides to avoid the drop this time round.

Already on 37 points, he insists Sam Allardyce’s men have probably already done enough but admits there is plenty of doom and gloom surrounding Middlesbrough, currently sitting in the relegation zone.

The North East football pundit said: “There is plenty of doom and gloom around all three clubs up here at the moment. It is looking bad for all them and you can really see two of them dropping down.

“The last chance for Middlesbrough and Newcastle really is the derby on Monday and the winner of that will have a good chance of getting out of trouble. The way they are both playing though you can see it being a draw, which would probably send them both down.

“I really, really hope Middlesbrough can get out of it and they will look at Sunderland and Hull as teams they could catch. For me relegation will be between those four, with West Brom probably gone already.”

Having suffered the drop with Borough, in 1997 and 1994, Hignett knows all about the final day emotional rollercoaster – claiming dropping out of the top flight is more costly now than ever before.

“It is devastating,” he said. “Every player wants to play in the Premier League and the feeling when you are relegated out of it is hard to describe.

“Now as well, you look at the clubs in the Championship and there is no guarantee you will get back up quickly. Middlesbrough are fortunate they have a lot of youngsters who should stay, so maybe things would not be too bad for them.

“But if Newcastle went down I think they could be in real trouble. Very much like Blackburn in a way, how could you afford to keep those huge wage bills going?”