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‘A good day’ - Holden oversees Cup win

Dean Holden thanked a “really strong team performance” as he reflected on Saturday’s 2-0 win over Exeter City.

Goals from Jamie Paterson and Antoine Semenyo – his first for the club – secured City’s spot in the draw for the Carabao Cup Round Two, which takes place on Sunday.

Holden was delighted with his side’s display in what was his first competitive match since his head coach appointment in July.

 

“I’m delighted overall, it’s been a good day for us with a winning start, we scored two good goals, created a hatful of chances, a clean sheet is another positive as well,” he said.

“It was a little bit sloppy at times in possession but it’s early in the season and I’m happy to be in the hat for the next round.

“It was a really strong team performance. Apart from carving Exeter open at times, they were a good team, but we carved them open a couple of times particularly in the first half. “Defensively we were sounds as well. We restricted them, Bents has made a good save, but our defending set plays was strong, all these things we are looking to build on.”

Holden also praised the squad’s work ethic both on and off the ball.

100% run: Dean Holden won his first match in charge

He added: “Sometimes you can have all the ball and not do anything with it so for us it’s about creating chances, getting on the front foot, going after the ball after losing it, winning it back.

“We had the majority of possession today as you would expect with the way Exeter set up behind the ball, with a man-for-man in midfield to make it difficult, but we had to find a way and we scored two really good goals which I’m pleased about.”

Holden introduced youngsters James Morton and Tyreeq Bakinson in the second half, as well as Semenyo who grabbed his first goal in Robins colours. For midfielder Morton, it would be the Academy graduate’s debut and Holden was delighted to hand the trio gametime.

“It was great to get Antoine off the bench for him to get his first goal, Tyreeq Bakinson has come on, and James Morton from our Academy. That’s a big part of what this club is about, to win and get three youngsters onto the pitch.

“All the works goes in behind the scenes, throughout the week and I’ve already had texts from guys in the Academy thanking me which is not what it’s about. They work hard to get the players to a level to come in and they’ve done that today, albeit for a few minutes but it’s huge for them.

“For James particularly, on his debut, he will never forget it. I told him to get his shirt signed and to keep it because it’s a great moment for him and his family, as it is for T and Antoine.”

In other news, Holden has also confirmed that defender Nathan Baker (hamstring) will be out of action until Christmas time.

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