Evans has be­lief that Rovers can shock Reds

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP PREVIEW - By Chris Dunlavy

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

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