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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, August 9th 2019

Holden confident of City response

With professionalism and quality across the pitch, Dean Holden is anticipating a strong display against Birmingham City.

The Robins head into the Sky Bet Championship fixture following their opening day loss against Leeds United.

Assistant Head Coach Holden explained the process this week, with the players working hard to bounce back and new faces settling into their new surroundings.

For City, Saturday's trip to St Andrew's will be their first away game of the campaign and Holden is hoping for a repeat of last season's form; City went on a six-game unbeaten run away from home, losing just seven times across the campaign.

Speaking to the club website, Holden said:

Assessing Sunday’s performance

“We debriefed the Leeds game the following morning, we went through with the players the things we did really well in the game and the few things we need to improve on. That’s always the case after a first game of the season; win, lose or draw there are things to improve on and some good stuff as well.

“Training has been lively this week, it’s been competitive, with some high-quality players coming into the squad to add to what have already got. The focus has been on being better without the ball in terms of our organisation and being on the front foot, being more aggressive in the pressing. With the ball we have good players but certainly in the first half [against Leeds] we didn’t show how good we can be on the ball.”

Moore among the positives

“I thought Taylor Moore settled really well into his first start for a long time, against a very good team in the Championship. All in all, it was a disappointing result but there was plenty of good stuff in there as well and we have work to do for Birmingham City but we can’t wait for it.”

Bouncing back

“We have to provide a response against Birmingham, we are fully aware of that. Pre-season is so long, everybody can’t wait for the first game of the season, the optimism and we didn’t get the result we wanted so we have to respond to that. That’s part and parcel of being professional, you have to respond to the next challenge which is a big one at Birmingham but it’s one we can’t wait to get in front of and give it our best shot.”

Holden previews City's first away game of the campaign.

"We have to provide a response against Birmingham, we are fully aware of that...That’s part and parcel of being professional, you have to respond to the next challenge which is a big one at Birmingham but it’s one we can’t wait to get in front of and give it our best shot.

"It’s an exciting time to be at Bristol City, to be a coach working with some high-quality players, including the new signings who have added quality to what we already have."

Dean Holden

Change at the Blues

“They have brought a few in, they have a new manager. Their former assistant manager has taken over the role as manager so they’ve changed the style of play, changed the system as well - they went to a back five against Brentford - so we’re fully prepared in terms of what they can throw at us but the focus this week is very much about us and making sure we are at our best.”

Working with the new signings

“It’s an exciting time to be at Bristol City, to be a coach working with some high-quality players, including the new signings who have added quality to what we already have. Our job as coaches is to get them all together in terms of the setup of the team and that’s what we have been working hard on in pre-season. We’ve got to work hard to make sure the players settle down off the pitch as quickly as possible. It’s a great club for making people feel welcome and the quicker they settle off the pitch, the quicker we will see the quality on it.”

Support on the road

“We’re really looking forward to going up to Birmingham at the weekend, we always take a good traveling support behind us. We got a good result there last season and our away form last season was very strong so that is something we are looking to replicate again this season.”

City travel to St Andrew’s Stadium for matchday two of the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship this Saturday (August 10th, 3pm).

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