Football: Rodgers wants FA Cup glory to erase EPL pain

BLACKBURN (AFP) - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to avoid an FA Cup upset at Blackburn on Wednesday as his side try to ease the disappointment of their fading challenge for a place in the Champions League.

A run of eight wins from nine English Premier League games up to the middle of March had put Liverpool in a strong position to secure a top-four finish. But successive defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal either side of the international break have left Liverpool in fifth place, well adrift of the top four.

Yet Rodgers is still hoping to finish the season on a high by bringing silverware back to Anfield for the first time since Liverpool won the League Cup in 2012. If the Reds can see off Championship club Blackburn in their quarter-final replay at Ewood Park, they will be through to a semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley later this month.

But Rodgers won't underestimate Gary Bowyer's team, who have already knocked out top-flight sides Swansea and Stoke this season.

"There's no doubt there is disappointment at losing those games having put ourselves in a great position," Rodgers said. "But it's gone now. We need to focus on doing the very best we can. "The group is very committed to winning this trophy, but in order to do that you have to qualify and we know Blackburn will be a difficult game for us."