‘Burton need a miracle to upset City in League Cup’

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Before the match, everyone knew City would win, and the sight of them laying siege to Burton's goal in the final minutes as they tried to make it double figures was, depending on your point of view, just cruel or very amusing.

"They're professional, they keep going and don't ever ease off", Clough said. They are now enjoying a four game unbeaten run in all competitions, while only Chelsea have won at the Amex since mid-September. "We didn't do too much wrong, two or three of the goals we could have done more but we didn't too badly".

"We didn't play brilliantly and a couple of the goals we were disappointed with, as we should have defended them better, but the gulf in quality was very evident and the players came in at half-time and were wide eyed with what they have played against". "When you get to the semi-finals and you have beaten Premier League teams and mythic teams like Aston Villa or Middlesbrough, the reason why they are here, they deserve incredible credit".

I am a striker so I have to score, but I always try to play well and help the team every time.

Surely playing at their ruthless best is the way to show respect to an inferior opponent?

City are still active in four competitions while title rivals Liverpool have only the Premier League and Champions League to worry about.

"We are going to enjoy the experience", he said. Nobody gives us much of a chance and rightly so but it's just about the players, everybody, talking about supporters, who have been following the club for 50-60 years never dreamt of us being in a League Cup semi-final.

Ten games have passed since the Italian's appointment and just two have been won with the latest match being a dispiriting 2-1 reverse at home to League Two's Oldham at Craven Cottage.

"I prefer it, definitely", he said.

"I take the cups seriously".

Liverpool, City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are separated by 10 points, and are on course to break the record cumulative tally of 333 points set by the top four in each of the last two seasons. I saw a few minutes of games they played and they played good.

"We will definitely have to be somewhere close to that to even think about getting something on Saturday".