Evans has belief that Rovers can shock Reds
BLACKBURN midfielder Corry Evans went to Anfield convinced his side could pull off an upset – and says nothing has changed after a gutsy 0-0 draw set up a replay at Ewood Park.
Champions League chasers Liverpool had lost just three times in 26 games ahead of last weekend’s FA Cup quarter final, and hadn’t suffered a defeat at home since November.
And with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho all hitting their dazzling best, few gave Gary Bowyer’s men a hope.
But a combination of tireless chasing and tactical discipline restricted the Reds to just a handful of half-chances, earning Blackburn one more crack at Wembley and a potential semi-final against Aston Villa.
“The prize is right there now,” said Evans, who joined Blackburn from Hull in 2013.“Wembley is just one game away. And we’re quite confident in ourselves that we can cause an upset.
“To be honest, that was there even before the game at Anfield.We knew it was going to be tough but we believed in the gaffer’s game plan and we knew that if we stuck to it then we had a chance on the counterattack.
“It was all about getting tight to their attacking players and stopping them getting into the spaces where they can hurt you. I think our execution was the best we could have done and we did have chances, too.Who knows – on another day we might have sneaked through.”
Evans, 24, says the concentration required to keep Coutinho under wraps left him knackered but he was still able to savour the sights and sounds of a weekend on the biggest stage.
“It was great to be a part of,” he said. “Coming out to You’ll Never Walk Alone was something special.You see it on TV but until you’re actually there you don’t realise how it feels.
“And to play like we did in front of a full house at Anfield – on TV as well – makes it all the more memorable.
“It’s a difficult place for any side in the world to win so to come away with a clean sheet is something we can be proud of.”
Evans, though, is refusing to contemplate either the replay, on April 8, or a semi-final with Aston Villa until Blackburn’s fading play-off hopes are finally extinguished.
A midweek win at Bolton left Rovers a daunting 11 points adrift with ten to play, but Evans won’t give up the ghost.
“We’ll need to be almost perfect between now and the end of the season,” he admits. “But nobody is calling time on those play-offs.”
PROUD: Corry Evans battled hard at Anfield