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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, July 22nd 2020

Holden sets Robins’ sights on new campaign

City’s 2019/20 season has barely come to a close but Interim Head Coach Dean Holden is already looking forward to the next.

City signed off the campaign in a 1-1 home draw with Preston North End and following a two-and-a-half week break, the group will be back for ‘pre-season’ and focus their preparations on another busy schedule in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Robins missed out on their target for the play-offs but Holden said the group must be “mentally and physically” set to go again in the 2020/21 campaign.

He said: “They have to get themselves mentally and physically ready for an attack at promotion and that’s the aim for this football club, so there’s a big few weeks in front of us, to get that bit right and we’re already looking forward to next season.

“We find ourselves in a fantastic stadium, a new training ground is around the corner and there’s a lot of good things happening. We know we haven’t met our targets, we set high targets in pre-season and we haven’t hit them, it’s as simple as that. Now we’re finding out through conversation exactly why to make sure we put things right next season.

“People ask me about me and my future but the most important thing is that this club has a right go at promotion next season, that has to be the aim and we’ll see what happens.

“It’s a short turnaround but you have to be adaptable. There’s a short break now and it’s important they…mentally switch off a little bit, be ready for first day of pre-season and be ready to go again next season.”

Holden also reflected on Wednesday’s draw with the Lilywhites, where he was impressed with City’s response after they had fallen behind.

“It was a good end-of-season game in the sense there was plenty riding on it for us," he continued. "In the first half we were slow out of the traps, we didn’t win enough second balls. They dominated large parts of the pitch.

“It was an angry dressing room at half-time, we needed to get the players back out to attack the second half with intent and they did that. We responded brilliantly, we played most of the second half in their half of the pitch.

“There were chances at both ends and overall it’s disappointing we didn’t finish with a win but the performance was good second half and, as I’ve said, they have a short break now.”

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