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Holden happy as City bounce back

Dean Holden watched Famara Diédhiou fire City to a 1-0 victory over goal-happy Blackburn Rovers and reflected: “Did we get a response tonight!”

The home defeat to Birmingham City on Saturday was put to bed as substitute Diédhiou – sporting a T-shirt in memory of late Senegal football icon Papa Bouba Diop – turned and tucked the ball past Thomas Kaminski after 82 minutes.

And for Head Coach Holden, it was testament to the squad’s spirit as City moved back into the top six – one point off the top two.

SPIRIT

“I’ve talked about spirit,” Holden told Robins TV. “It’s not just something that you throw out there – it’s building it every day and I think everyone feels empowered. We don’t go over the top with mistakes, we want the players to express themselves.

“The biggest challenge is managing the defeats. We were disappointed against Birmingham on Saturday – it was a poor performance and a poor result in a tight game. But you don’t want to go over the top and kill any confidence so you keep the spirit going and you get a result and a performance like that – it was a great response.”

In a game full of attacking intent from both teams – there were 37 shots between them – City shackled Adam Armstrong enough to keep the league’s top scorer at bay, as well as creating chances through Antoine Semenyo, Callum O’Dowda and Nahki Wells.

 

KNIFE-EDGE

“The game was on a knife-edge all the way through; I thought we had the best chances but we were one counter-attack from having the game taken away from us.

“So the concentration and the communication beyond the ball was very important tonight and we knew when we got that chance we had to take it. We could have had a couple but to take one I’m alright with and three points is the most important thing.”

CHANCES

“From our supporters’ point of view at half-time it was a good game to watch. I thought we created some good chances in that first half and we restricted the top scorers in the division to limited chances. We have kept Armstrong fairy quiet. He has been on fire this season and we knew that was a big part of their game-plan.

“All in all it was a really strong performance. We have created chances all night, which we have not been doing a lot of recently, so that was a boost for us.

“Fam has come off the bench and there’s another assist for Chrissy Martin so all in all it’s a big three points against a very very good team.”

SPIRIT

"I’ve said to the players after the game – when you haven’t got your starting place it’s difficult but what you have to do is maintain your standards, train as well as you can and you’ll get your opportunities.”

The win lifts City up to sixth, level on points with each of the teams in the play-off places as things stand, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rotherham, available to watch on Robins TV. 

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