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Beware the wounded Black Cats – Holden

Dean Holden has described tomorrow’s opponents Sunderland as “wounded animals” as City prepare for a first visit to the Stadium of Light in 18 years.

The Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League last season and now find themselves in the Sky Bet Championship dropzone.

Without a win in their last ten matches, the North East club will be aiming to get back on track as soon as possible.

And assistant head coach Holden told BCTV: “It’s a bit of a case of beware the wounded animal.

“What they have is a Premier League setup. I’m looking forward to going up there and seeing the stadium - I’ve only been there once before.

“At the moment they’re a team that is low in confidence but they’ve got a team packed full of quality players who will be dangerous.

“The manager, Simon Grayson, has won multiple promotions in his career and he knows the division better than anybody. I’m sure he’ll get them turned around and probably promoted again.

“Sooner or later they will get a result, we just need to make sure that we’re on our mettle so that it isn’t against us.”

WHAT HE SAID

“At the moment they’re a team that is low in confidence but they’ve got a team packed full of quality players who will be dangerous."

Assistant head coach Dean Holden

FLYING HIGH

City will fly to the North East today (Friday) and will also catch a plane after the game to ensure preparations for Tuesday night’s game at Fulham aren’t affected by a lengthy journey by road.

Holden added: “We’re very grateful that we can fly to Sunderland and it shows the club is looking to do the things in the right way.

“What we need to do now is make sure we put in a good performance on the pitch.”

Backed by around 1,500 travelling fans, City will certainly be keen to build on Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup – a game that attracted a crowd of almost 22,000.

“We’ll be taking a very good following to the Stadium of Light and that’ll give everyone a boost,” Holden added.

“It was a great crowd on Tuesday night and optimism about the place is great right now.”