MIDFIELDER Jason Lowe believes Blackburn Rovers could count themselves ‘very, very unlucky’ not to beat Manchester City and cause a big FA Cup shock for the second season running.

Lowe was part of the Rovers side which won 1-0 at Arsenal in the fifth round of last season’s competition.

And he felt they should have been celebrating another Premier League scalp on Saturday.

No-one outside of the Rovers dressing room gave them much hope of getting the better of a City side that came into the Ewood Park encounter on the back of a seven-match winning run which has seen them move within a point of top spot in the Premier League, into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, and set up a last-16 Champions League showdown with Barcelona.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s team, who finished the third-round tie with 10 men after Dedryck Boyata was sent off, were forced to hang on as Rovers pushed hard for a winner after Scott Dann had cancelled out Alvaro Negredo’s opener.

Lowe said: “We were under no illusions that it was going to be a tough, tough game. But anything can happen on the day as we proved away at Arsenal last year.

“We’ve done it before so we went into the game full of confidence.

“It was a game where I didn’t think we had a lot to lose as nobody gave us a chance.

“We went out there with a game plan and I thought we were very, very unlucky not to win.”

Lowe was one of a number of excellent Rovers performers.

He added: “I thought we did a great job collectively. We knew what they could do with the ball – everybody knows what they can do.

“They’ve got some unbelievable talent and we had to counter that.

“We had to be organised, we had to be switched on, we had to track runners and we had to help each other out, and when we got the ball we had to move it quickly.

“It’s never easy against a team that reads the game as well as they do. But I thought we were outstanding and it was a great effort.

“And I thought we could even have nicked it.”

The replay takes place on Wednesday week at the Etihad Stadium where City boast a formidable record of 13 wins from 14 matches in all competitions this season.

Lowe said: “I think they’re averaging three goals a game there! It’ll be another tough game but we’ll go there with confidence and we’ll try and get the win. It’ll be a good test.”