KIERAN Wallace relished the chance to face Premier League champions Manchester City after fearing for his footballing future in the summer, and says that the Brewers have learnt a lot from the two games.
Having plied his trade at non-league Matlock Town last season, Wallace thought his dream of playing in the EFL might be over when he picked up a serious injury while on trial at an Football League club.
The former Sheffield United man admits he could not have dreamed that only a few months later he would be lining up against players that he watched at the World Cup while injured, and that the Burton Albion squad have gained valuable experience from the Carabao Cup semi-final.
He said: “It was brilliant. We learnt a lot from the first leg and we will never get an experience like that again, against those sort of players. I think that we learnt from that and adapted our game for the second leg. We were unlucky not to get an equaliser in the end.
“In the summer, a lot of those lads were playing at the World Cup and I was sat at home with my arm in a sling watching and not knowing where to go next. So I am really grateful to have come in and to have been given a chance by the gaffer.
“Last season, I was playing for Matlock Town and I got a trial at a Football League club. I went there for a week thinking it was my last chance saloon to get into the Football League. I got a bad injury and had to miss the whole of pre-season, I was struggling to come from that.
“I just thought that when you are so far down the order, the only thing you can do is pick yourself up and try hard. Thankfully, the gaffer let me come in and train, it has spiralled from there.”