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Holden highlights importance of Emirates FA Cup

Dean Holden prepares his side for an Emirates FA Cup Third Round tie with League One side Portsmouth this weekend and the chance to start 2021 on the front foot.

After the disappointment of the Brentford match being called off it will be 12 days since City were last in action away to Luton Town.

COVID-19 symptoms became evident within the City camp in the build-up to the Brentford fixture. And due to the New Year Bank Holiday closure of the English Football League appointed testing laboratory, it was not possible to arrange testing for the entire squad and backroom staff, leading to the game’s postponement for the safety of players and staff of both clubs.

Preparations have continued this week for their FA Cup clash with 2008 tournament winners Portsmouth.

 

Holden told Robins TV: “It’s a brilliant competition and I spoke to the players about that. Sometimes in modern day with the re-branding it’s important the youngsters and the lads from abroad know the importance of the FA Cup. It’s a fantastic tournament.

“Historically it’s provided some incredible moments. For us, it’s an opportunity to get back to winning ways and we’re against an opponent doing really well in their own division; they’re scoring goals, keeping clean sheets so we know it will be a tough game but it’s an opportunity to go into the next round and see who you get in there.”

Only Kasey Palmer, who returns from a loan spell at Swansea, has returned a positive Covid-19 result, meaning he will not be involved this weekend while he self isolates.

He was one of a few returning loanees this week, with Hakeeb Adelakun, Owura Edwards and Cameron Pring also back in BS3 - the young left-back having spent the first half of the season with Pompey. Marley Watkins is back in Bristol too, but is recovering from injury suffered at Aberdeen.

“It’ll add to the numbers and quality in and around training as well,” Holden said, as he reflected on the players returning. “Marley (Watkins) is injured for a period of time but we hope to welcome him back towards the end of the season. As it is, we only have a couple available for the squad this weekend due to being cup tied or illness, but we’re pleased to have them back.”

Follow via FA Player

With all 32 Emirates FA Cup Third Round fixtures being broadcast live for the first time, City supporters inside the UK (not Republic of Ireland) can follow all the action from BS3 for free via The FA Player, exclusively delivered to homes by Deliveroo.

REGISTER FOR THE FA PLAYER 

For those supporters overseas, the match will feature on the following channels:

Australia - ESPN
Balkans - SportKlub
Belgium - Eleven
Bulgaria - Nova
Canada - Rogers Sportsnet
China - PPTV/StarTimes
Czech Republic/Slovakia - ARQ, Digi Sport
Hong Kong - TVB
Hungary - TV2
Indo, Thai , Cambo, Laos - beIN Sports
LATAM + Caribbean - ESPN
Malta - TSN
Myanmar - Eleven/Mysports
New Zealand - Sky NZ
Polan - Eleven
Romania - Euro Sport (Discovery)
Scandinavia - NENT
Singapore - Singtel
USA - ESPN
Vietnam - FPT

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