Manchester City did not disrespect Burton despite thrashing them 9-0 and it would have been unprofessional if they had reduced their intensity, says Danny Higginbotham.
City dismantled the League One side in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to all but seal their place in the final at Wembley.
Pep Guardiola’s side were already 4-0 ahead at half-time but Higginbotham says they did the right thing by continuing to heap misery on their opponents.
He told Sky Sports News: I’ve been on the wrong end of some severe scorelines and it’s horrible. But what’s worse is if you get a team that get to four or five and then stop. It’s unprofessional.
Burton knew what was about to happen to them. If City had got to three or four and then showboated, people would have complained about that.
You’re bringing confidence to players within that team as well. (Gabriel) Jesus comes into the team and scores four goals, (Kevin) De Bruyne’s just coming back from injury, (Phil) Foden comes on again.
I don’t see it as unprofessional. It would have been disrespectful for City to go about it any other way.
What it does now is it means Pep can rest all his players in the second leg. It’s fantastic from Manchester City and I love the way they’ve gone about it and their attitude.
Guardiola named a strong side for the match, with De Bruyne, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan all starting, although Foden was left on the bench as a result.
Other young English talents, such as Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson, have been thriving after leaving English clubs for regular football in Germany, but Higginbotham says the City midfielder is in the right place despite starting just six matches this season.
People will say he should be getting more minutes but I think Pep wanted to get this done in the first leg, said Higginbotham.
He played a very strong team, and it means when the second leg comes, you can guarantee Foden will start.
When you’ve got the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva around him – as hard as it’s going to be to break into that team – he’ll be learning so much from them.
He’s in a good place at the moment and I think he’s being managed well.