"I think it's instilled into you, it's how you're brought up," Higginbotham, who made seven appearances at United before joining Derby County in 2000, told manutd.com. "From day one you're just brought up the right way, to respect everything and everybody, and to play football the right way. Nobody gets too big for their boots and it's all about working hard, which is what everybody does.
"It was always stressed that there was time for fun, but when you were on the training pitch or during a game then it was serious. They encouraged you to enjoy your football, and to express yourself. When you're a youngster growing up, I don't think you could have a better education than at a club like United.
"It was always stressed that you could have all the talent in the world, but if you didn't graft then it was just going to be a waste. I wanted to make sure that never happened."