The Southampton players who lost 9-0 at home to Leicester City on Friday are “incredible professionals”, says Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Saints travel to Etihad Stadium in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and again in the Premier League on Saturday, their first games since the record-equalling loss.
“I am not going to judge them on that or prepare to play against them based on what happened against Leicester,” added Guardiola.
“They will try to do their best.”
Southampton’s players and coaching staff have already donated a day’s wages to charity following the heaviest defeat in their 134-year history.
Going into Tuesday’s last-16 EFL Cup tie (19:45 GMT kick-off), City boast the Premier League’s most potent attack – with 32 goals in 10 matches this season – while Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side have the worst defensive record in the top flight.
However, both managers are expected to make several changes and Guardiola is anticipating a Saints response.
“It’s not easy but they are incredible professionals. The manager will be sad for a moment – for one night – but after that they have to move forward,” said the Spaniard.
“We know the team Leicester are; it was not easy.
“But it’s different competitions – the Carabao Cup and the Premier League. And we will try [to prepare] to face good teams.”
Meanwhile, Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has said Tuesday’s match is a chance for the players to make amends on the pitch.
“If there is one saying it’s: ‘Tough periods make tough people,'” midfielder Hojbjerg told the Southern Daily Echo.
“I don’t want to speak, I want to show by action.
“We never want to be in this position again or anywhere near it.”