LISTENING to the preamble before Liverpool’s demolition of Southampton at St Mary’s in the Capital One Cup this week I heard a statement that makes my blood boil.

BBC Five Live commentator Alan Green and pundit Steve Clarridge both referred to the cup as a competition the two sides could afford to take seriously.

The inference was that with Champions League qualification and the Premier League title seemingly beyond Liverpool and Southampton, the Capital One Cup suddenly grew in importance.

On the reverse side of this coin, any side that has bigger fish to fry would have understandably dismissed the quarter-final tie as an irrelevance and fielded a weakened team. No!

This mindset has been creeping in since the mid-nineties, when Sir Alex Ferguson first started to prioritise as he focussed on breaking his Champions League duck.

Arsene Wenger followed suit, using what was formerly the League Cup to blood his youngsters, who invariably swept them to the semi-finals before suffering gallant defeat.

In more recent times, the FA Cup, which takes centre stage this weekend, has been treated with similar disregard, leading to concerns it has lost its shine.

But while it is a commonly held view our domestic cup competitions are falling to the bottom of the pecking order, the recent roll of honour doesn’t really bear that out.

Over the past 10 seasons, Manchester United have won the League Cup three times, Chelsea have been crowned champions twice and Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have won one each.

The only teams to have won it that have not been represented in the Champions League over the past decade have been Birmingham City in 2011 and Swansea City in 2013.

It might be the giants of the English game are now just too big for their own good and can win honours without even trying.

But supporting a football team is about watching them win trophies, not finishing fourth and qualifying for Europe.

Jurgen Klopp certainly seems to think so, after setting up a team to put six past the Saints and book a last-four tie against Stoke City.

Interestingly enough, Everton, who have been drawn against Manchester City, are the only side in the semi-finals never to have won the competition before.

In fact, a select group of only 23 teams have lifted the trophy in its 55-year history.

Liverpool are the kings of the League Cup, having won it eight times and been involved in 11 finals in total.

You wouldn’t bet against Klopp leading them to a ninth title in his first season in charge.

And while he might not always focus his resources on claiming the League Cup above all else, history suggests it is possible to dominate in more than one competition at once.

Liverpool did it in the 1980s, when they won the League Cup four times, while also claiming two European Cups, six league titles and two FA Cups.

And both Manchester United and Barcelona have proved it is possible to sweep the board in the Champions League age.

So I think it is about time we outlawed this notion of priorities in football, and returned to a simpler time when managers were expected to field a full-strength side in every game.