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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, January 11th 2018

Chance to replicate cup heroics - Holden

Dean Holden is looking for City to replicate their "heroic" performance from Tuesday night when they take on Norwich City on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

City looked to have earnt a 1-1 draw going into the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, until Sergio Aguero headed a late winner at the Etihad Stadium.

The Robins performed valiantly and have won many plaudits for their efforts at the half-way stage in the tie.

But their attentions now turn back to the Sky Bet Championship, when the Canaries travel to Ashton Gate, as City go in search of their first win of the calendar year.

Assistant head coach Holden told BCTV: "They can certainly be proud of their efforts, it was an heroic performance. Obviously we're disappointed to lose the goal late in the game like we did but the main thing is we got the away goal, which was one of our objectives going into it.

"We are still well in the tie and I think the lads will take a lot of confidence going to one of the best clubs in Europe at the moment and more importantly playing our style, playing our game. A lot of people have come up to myself, the players and staff saying 'why don't more teams go to the Etihad Stadium and play like that?'

"We wanted to go there and play our way which the gaffer has chosen as it suits the players we have brought in. You could see things that night which go all the way back to Tenerife in the summer - the tactical things the gaffer worked on in pre-season - and that was really pleasing to see.

"We gave it a go: we went after Manchester City, exploited their weaknesses and the lads can be very proud.

CHANCE TO GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS

"The players give everything, mentally and physically. It was a tough night and we got back late but there's plenty of time [to rest up and prepare] between then and Saturday's game. We've got a way of working this year in our training schedule and our recovery protocols that we have brought into the club.

"They (the players) will want to get back out there against Norwich City, our bread and butter, as we want to get back to winning ways in the league and put that to bed. We now concentrate fully of Norwich City and make sure that we stay in the top end of the table."

WHAT HE SAID

"We're fully focussed on what Norwich City can bring here on Saturday and how we can exploit their weaknesses. The lads are looking forward to it."

Dean Holden

CAN ROBINS DENT CANARIES FORM?

"We're fully focussed on what Norwich City can bring here on Saturday and how we can exploit their weaknesses. The lads are looking forward to it.

"They have come into a bit of form in the last few games. They have been inconsistent for most parts of the season but they are still a big club in this division.

"They have the parachute payments, they're one of the bigger clubs in terms of attendances this season and they have some good Premier League players still in the squad so it will be a big challenge.

"Every game in the Championship is [a challenge] but our focus has to be on the game. For every game so far we have been able to switch our attention to the next match.

"We fully expect the lads to go into it and replicate the performance they put in the other night.

HOLDEN ON NEW RECRUIT LIAM WALSH

"He's settled in brilliantly. He's the type of character who the gaffer was keen to bring in. He's a young Scouser who has got away from Everton because he wants first-team football and I think he deserves a lot of credit for that.

"He came on in tough circumstances the other night [against Manchester City] in a huge arena wth an incredible atmosphere. That's a test for young players but he has shown his class and we're really pleased to have him here."

On the injury front heading into the Canaries clash, Holden said there are "one or two weary legs" but further assessments will be made on Friday after a couple of days of recovery training sessions.

EXCLUSIVE: MARLON PACK PRE-NORWICH CITY (HOME)

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