Former Red Stephen Warnock spoke about the effect that news of Stiliyan Petrov's illness has had on him and his Aston Villa teammates.
Club captain Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia after the squad underwent tests in the wake of Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest. The Bulgarian's teammates were made aware of his situation on Friday.
And the 32-year-old was in the stands at Villa Park to receive a standing ovation the following day. On Monday night, Warnock admitted to Liverpoolfc.tv that there was a sense of disbelief inside the Villa camp at the sad news.
"The news of Stiliyan was horrible," Warnock told Liverpoolfc.tv. "We found out Friday afternoon that he had been diagnosed and it's just a shock to the system because you don't expect it.
"You expect it to happen to other people that you don't really know and to get the news through was horrible. It was gut-wrenching. When you put yourself in that position, you just feel for the guy and it was difficult to lift everyone for the game on Saturday. We tried our best but it wasn't to be."
Villa went down 4-2 against Chelsea in that game despite hauling themselves back from a 2-0 deficit to level with just over ten minutes remaining. Goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres eventually sealed the three points for the visitors.
On the same day, Villa's rivals in their battle for Barclays Premier League survival, managed to pick up valuable wins to pile the pressure on. Wigan beat Stoke 2-0, Bolton gained a precious three points at the expense of Wolves and QPR pulled-off a great win at home to Arsenal.
"It's very tight down there and I think that everyone is putting the runs together at the right time," said Warnock. "We've lost our last two. We had a little bit of a run before that where we picked up five points and that pushed us away from the relegation zone.
"But results went against us at the weekend and so we really need to pick up some points. So the Anfield game is a massive game for us. I think we need the result to push us out of the relegation zone and get us away from the bottom three."
Ormskirk-born Warnock worked his way through the Liverpool FC youth ranks to make his first team debut against Grazer AK in 2004. Three years later he departed to Blackburn Rovers before signing for Villa in 2009.
And the full-back has fond memories of returning to Anfield in opposition colours but one in particular stands out as more poignant than the rest.
On 11 April 2009, before Rovers' match against the Reds, Warnock presented a flower display showing the number '96' to the Kop. The tribute was in memory of the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough Disaster on 15 April 1989.
"A couple of years ago I did the Hillsborough memorial and I got a really good reception," said Warnock. "The fans really took to me from that and it was a nice touch.
"It's nice to go back and see everyone but hopefully we'll get the right result there at the weekend. It's always been nice to return to Anfield.
"You do get a little bit of stick every now and again but that's part and parcel of the game and people are only doing it to wind you up and try to get a little bit of a bite out of you.
"So fingers crossed they'll be nice with me at the weekend."