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City ‘energised and confident’ ahead of Severnside derby – Holden

Buoyed after Tuesday night’s win and a highly anticipated derby with Cardiff City coming up, Dean Holden’s men are rightly buzzing for Friday’s trip to South Wales.

The Severnside showdown rounds off City’s seventh game in 20 days before the second international break of the campaign and the squad are in high spirits.

That is despite October proving a tough month for City, when performances did not match the points deserved, but the five-game winless run ended in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town.

 

“It might be our seventh game in 20 days but it’s a game live on Sky, a derby for the club and our supporters and the players are well aware of that. We’re going into it energised and confident after a fantastic victory on Tuesday,” said Holden.

He hailed the players’ mentality in that win over the Terriers, with the likes of Ádám Nagy impressing after being called into the starting XI at short notice, when Tyreeq Bakinson suffered a severe headache close to kick-off. That meant young winger Opi Edwards had to be ready as he was called to the bench.

Holden said: “All credit is due to Ádám for his performance because with 20 minutes notice he put in a really strong performance. Whether you’re the 17th, 18th, 19th man you prepare to play because anything can happen and that’s been the message from day one of pre-season.

“It’s a mentality thing and it’s about how they train. I’ve been at clubs where the first-team lads are in recovery and there’s five or six players ahead of you training so it can be tough. But these boys do it properly, we demand of them to do it properly, but it has to come from within.

Both Edwards and Ryley Towler of the development group have travelled with the first team squad in recent weeks and Holden added his message to them is to be “prepared to play and if they’re on the bench, we’ll see. That’s the mentality we’ve all got, everyone has to pull together and help each other out.”

Holden also explained how he and his players have prepared for different scenarios and the importance of another plan, depending on how matches unfold on the day. That was evident in Tuesday’s win where a tactical reshuffle and fresh legs from the bench turned a half-time deficit into three points.

For Head Coach Holden, it’s about problem solving and the players adapting at the time, something they may well have to do again against the Bluebirds. However, he says the squad remain “prepared” for whatever comes their way.

He explained: “There’s an element of being able to react to what’s in front of you in a game. Part of the coaching we give the players is about responding to problems and that’s worked well so far.

“A lot of work on our system was done in pre-season for this block of games so the players are well prepared for other eventualities. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you and most clubs have even adapted to match us which is testament to the players and how they’ve played.

“At the same time, there’s not much time between games so we have to use the time wisely, whether that’s analysis, walking through stuff on the pitches.

“The players are prepared, and you can see that in performances; they’re well organised and I’m proud of how organised we have been behind the ball, apart from the Norwich game, but at the same we have always carried a threat in attack.”

Supporters are reminded that Friday night’s Severnside derby at the Cardiff City Stadium will not be shown on Robins TV, due to the match being broadcast exclusively by Sky Sports.

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