ALAN Stubbs is a Bluenose in the Merseyside sense and it hurts to say it, but the St. Mirren manager can now admit that Steven Gerrard was decent as a player.
Obviously not more than that …
The couple, who are friends, come from the opposite sides of their city, but they are separated only a few yards when they stand on the sideline at Ibrox.
Stubbs faced Gerrard many times in the derby and the Reds leader prevailed against him and his team. Maybe things will change now, both managers in the Scottish Premiership – something none of them would have guessed a few years ago.
"I had the impression that he was honest," Stubbs admitted that after a certain Kenny Dalglish, the player was voted second-best player of all time. "There were times when he single-handedly crossed Liverpool to the finish line.
"As far as the midfielder is concerned, he was better than anything I ever played against, and that does not suit me well when I say that as an Everton fan, he had everything and if he was not the best, he was very good close is the best allround midfielder in England.
"Liverpool was better then Everton, so it does not make sense to say that there was not much between the teams, as Liverpool was better than Everton more often, the budgets were not comparable and Everton has now come up with a bit more money.
"It's not me and Stevie, but I enjoyed the Merseyside derbies and I'm sure he did that as well – I enjoyed the derby's opportunity and rivalry.
"Stevie was someone who personified Liverpool, always looking like he was ready for the challenge.
"It gives me the same sense and impression that he's on the sidelines as much as the Rangers manager."
Stubbs might not have had too many good days against Liverpool, but his record against Rangers as a player and manager is not bad.
His Hibs team won at Ibrox a few times, and the Scottish Cup final 2016 was not particularly important.
Stubbs loves these games. It is his hope and expectation that the players of St. Mirren Ibrox see as a perfect platform to show everyone how good they are.
"There is nothing better than going to these big clubs and getting results," said Stubbs. "I want my players to try that, not me, because if they can, they can give them the belief that they can go anywhere and win.
"We're all focused on being good, we will not go there to fend off Rangers in the attack, we know we have to defend well and be disciplined, but when we have the ball, I expect to be brave are.
"I told the player to enjoy it and play well, they always wanted to play there, so do not let it pass you by, they will not come with a good experience if they do not play well they go there and take on the atmosphere.
"Do not be afraid of 50,000 fans – that's a challenge – if I have to motivate players for Sunday, I have a problem."
Stubbs rejected the idea that St. Mirren had nothing against Rangers.
"I do not think a game is a freebie, even if not many people expect us to get a result," he said. "But we have standards and if it's a freebie, it gives me an excuse for players not to be 100 percent involved.
"I can see the other side of it, but football does not give you anything in vain, you have to earn everything you get, and I certainly will not say to the players, 'This is a free-throw.' It's not because places are on the line. "
And a little Liverpool pride.