LIAM Highfield insists he plays the type of snooker that could see him win a tournament this season after pushing former world champion Shaun Murphy all the way in last week’s English Open.

Highfield reached the last-32 stage in Barnsley but ultimately lost a high-quality, enthralling encounter 4-3 to Murphy, who won the world title back in 2005.

There was a half-century break in every frame bar the decider as Murphy - who has also won the Masters and UK Championship during his career - compiled knocks of 83, 136 and 70, while Highfield responded with 52, 88 and 83.

The Swindon man eventually fell just short as the world number five pinched the decisive seventh frame, but he had no complaints about the performance he put in against one of snooker’s best.

“It was just blow for blow, really. It was unbelievable stuff,” enthused Highfield.

“You could probably count on one hand the number of balls that were missed, if it was even that many.

“If I play like that for the rest of the season, I’ll be more than happy, and I fancy my chances of a good run at a tournament.

“I play the type of snooker that can win tournaments, so it’s just a matter of doing it on the biggest stage.”

While Highfield’s attacking style is easy on the eye, the 26-year-old’s best performance at a ranking event is a quarter-final appearance at the Indian Open earlier this season.

Ranked at 69 in the world, although headed in the right direction, his claim that he could win a tournament is a bold one.

But he believes that going toe-to-toe with one of the most aggressive players around bodes well for the future.

“Shaun is that type of player who can reel off frames quickly and I like to think I’m that sort of player as well, so it was a high-standard match,” added Highfield.

“I enjoyed it out there. It was very similar to my second-round match against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh where it was just high-scoring, free-flowing and that’s the way the game should be played.”