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Holden hails City young guns

Dean Holden paid tribute to the City young guns who caused a Carabao Cup upset on a Premier League patch to depose Watford at Vicarage Road.

Head coach Lee Johnson made nine changes for the tie and included the likes of Lloyd Kelly, Freddie Hinds, Zak Vyner and Niclas Eliasson in an experimental starting line-up.

His team fell behind to Etienne Capoue’s 47th-minute opener, but responded in emphatic fashion with goals from Hinds and Eliasson either side of substitute Bobby Reid’s fifth of the season.

Adrian Mariappa reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the last minute of added time, but City held on to take their place in the third round draw.

“The head coach has just said in the dressing room about what a proud performance it was from everybody,” assistant boss Holden told BCTV. “The fans who travelled supported us all through the game.

“Conceding a goal so early in the second half could’ve knocked us a bit because we had a young team out there, but we moved the ball in the second half like we wanted and scored three fantastic goals.

“Experiences like this are priceless. Those young players have gone out there tonight against a Premier League side when the pressure was on.

“We didn’t start great in the first half – Watford had a lot of the ball but didn’t affect our goal too much.

“We said to them at half-time we need to look after the ball a bit more when we regain it and show a bit more belief.

“In the second half we’ve gone out there like a different team and took control of the game. We looked really assured in a Premier League team’s back yard and that’s the most pleasing thing.

“The supporters were on their feet all night in great voice. It’s amazing what that can do, especially for a young team when they give the ball away and they still have that support behind them.

“It gives them that confidence to keep getting on it. It was a real team performance tonight."