JOHN HIGGINS admits he won't relish his "Tartan tussle" with Jamie Burnett at the Betway UK Championship last 16.

The Wizard of Wishaw, who has lifted the title on three occasions, continued his quest to get his hands on a fourth crown with a 6-2 victory over Ali Carter at the York Barbican.

It was a win which set up an all-Scottish battle with Burnett and while Higgins will be all business as he bids to reach the quarter-finals, he said it was definitely harder playing one of his compatriots.

"He's played great in some of the matches. He beat Alan (McManus) and he's hitting the ball good," Higgins said of Burnett. "It's harder. I obviously want Jamie to win but, in a way, you don't really like playing the Scottish boys because you are all mates and it is tough to play each other."

Carter began the third round match with Higgins in impressive fashion, taking the lead with a break of 89, but he somehow found himself 3-1 down at the mid-session interval after Higgins posted efforts of 52, 64 and 77.

Carter had chances in all of those frames, scoring 42, 57 and 48 respectively, and, at times, the Captain didn't look too far away from getting back to his best following his return to the game after treatment for cancer.

Unlike his opponent, though, he simply wasn't clinical enough when in the balls.

Higgins kicked on in the next - thanks to 57 - and moved 5-1 ahead with the help of 59 in the sixth frame.

From there, it was a matter of when the 40-year-old would progress. Carter made him wait, taking the next to trail 5-2 and then produced a break of 54 in the eighth as he looked to take charge.

But he lost control of the white ball and, after making a difficult black, left a red hanging over a corner pocket. Higgins needed no further invitation - ruthlessly dispatching the balls to claim victory with 57.

Higgins added: "It's a very good win. The way the game started, I could have been 2-0 behind and Ali looked like he was hitting the ball really crisply. So to be 3-1 in front at the interval, I was over the moon.

"He was in control of the first session so for him to 3-1 behind, he would have been gutted. But I am feeling good. I am very happy, and delighted, to be through and I am enjoying it.

"The last couple of years, really struggling at tournaments, you don't know what's going to be happening but to come this year, and be competing again, it's a good feeling."

Carter, who said he had struggled with abdominal pain throughout the match as he continues to cope with Crohn's Disease, said: "I have missed two balls, really, and I am 3-1 down.

"It's hard enough as it is without having that constant handicap and not being to sleep because you are on steroids - and if you don't take your steroids I wouldn't be able to compete all.

"It's a complete balancing act, really. On this occasion, I am going to use it as an excuse."