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City ‘not good enough’ in derby defeat - Holden

Dean Holden pulled no punches in his assessment of City’s Severnside derby defeat, saying “it was nowhere near good enough.”

He watched his side concede twice in the first half at home to Cardiff City through headed goals from Curtis Nelson and Keiffer Moore.

The Robins showed some fightback but struggled to create going forward, while the visitors from South Wales ended the game strongly to see out the win.

“It’s been a bad afternoon for us, there’s no doubt about that,” Holden told Robins TV.

“We were ill-disciplined throughout the game, there was ill discipline in the first goal, leading to a free-kick, and that’s what Cardiff want you to do: they want you to make fouls, and go fishing for tackles when you don’t need to.

“They got the first goal and the second was poor defending. We showed a little bit of response after the second goal with moments where we didn’t quite execute to get in.

WATCH DEAN HOLDEN’S FULL ROBINS TV INTERVIEW

“It’s been a bad afternoon. We didn’t carry any threat in that attacking play and we let ourselves down in the basics: with passing, controlling it and moving the ball. We didn’t sustain enough momentum in Cardiff’s half to mount some attacks and it kept breaking down, they cleared it long and we lost that momentum.

“There’s plenty of work to do. We’ve had a good, honest chat about my thoughts and feelings on today’s performance and it was nowhere near good enough. We have to regroup now and throw some punches in the next one.”

Holden admitted his task now was to pick the group up ahead of the next game against Sheffield United, with the Robins turning their attentions back to their Emirates FA Cup run.

He said: “I didn’t really ask for much feedback after today’s performance. I let them have my thoughts and feelings on the game. It’s been a bad couple of results we have had recently. We have a big game on Wednesday night in the FA Cup and as disappointed as I am, and I know the supporters will be hugely angry and frustrated, my job is to galvanise and regroup and pick the lads up.”

The head coach was disappointed City lost out in the individual challenges and further highlighted where his side lost the game on Saturday.

He said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt they won too many duels. We didn’t win enough second balls in the midfield area, we didn’t up get to the ball and stop Cardiff from putting it into the box and that’s why we lost the game.”

Joe Williams and Henri Lansbury made their City debuts in midfield and Holden reflected: “As the season goes on they will benefit from those minutes. It won’t feel like a positive right now, but they’ll be the better for those minutes in the tank. We have so many games coming up, we have to keep as many players as fit as possible, we have to find a way and that’s what we’ll do.”

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