World Snooker Championship: McManus and Higgins relish last eight date

2016 World Snooker Championship
Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April - 2 May
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.

Alan McManus says facing good friend John Higgins in the World Championship quarter-finals will be a "huge hurdle".

But the 45-year-old can draw on past Crucible success against the four-time winner.

"I beat him on his debut here, albeit that was a long time ago, and a couple of years ago too, so I'm capable," he told BBC Sport.

"I practice with him enough and I said when I qualified that John would be a big threat at this tournament."

McManus reached the last eight in Sheffield by beating Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire.

To reach the semi-finals for the third time in his career he must get the better of fellow Scot Higgins, who had little trouble easing past Ryan Day and Ricky Walden.

"John looks strong," said McManus. "His long game is in, his scoring; everything you expect.

"When he's playing his best stuff, he one of the two or three best players in the history of the game."

Higgins, 40, became world champion for a fourth time in 2011 and has been showing signs of a return to form in the last 18 months after a period in the doldrums.

"Two or three years ago I was thinking I was a journeyman player, so I'm in a great place compared to that," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm delighted to be through and to be playing my good mate next. It should be a great occasion.

"The good thing is Scotland will have a player in the semi-final."

Higgins, aiming for a sixth appearance in the last four, has known McManus since his teenage days.

"I've got the upmost respect for Alan," he said. "He's one of the reasons that I'm maybe decent at this game because I went into the Masters Club in Glasgow as a 15-year-old and he was on the verge of turning professional.

"I watched him day-in, day-out and was lucky enough to practice with him. I learned so much from him."