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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, October 2nd 2020

Holden targets strong finish before international break

Bristol City Head Coach Dean Holden knows the Robins can head into the first international break of the season with a 100% record in the Sky Bet Championship.

City have won three from three in the Championship – their best start to a league campaign in 19 years – having overcome Coventry City, Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday.

He has encouraged the players to ‘keep believing in themselves’ and not to be complacent as he prepares to take his side to Nottingham Forest on Saturday (October 3rd, 3pm KO).

“Every game is different but most of the game preparation is on ourselves,” Holden told Robins TV.

“We have to stick to our system and our way of playing but we might have to tweak it slightly tactically as we saw last week in the second half against Sheffield Wednesday.

“Ultimately it’s about the players finding a way but the message is always the same: ‘keep believing in yourselves, if you make a mistake get on with it, keep encouraging your teammates and if you’re in the team or not you give your best every day’. It’s been a decent-enough start but there’s a big game on the weekend and we want to go into the international break with four wins from four in the league.”

Sabri Lamouchi’s outfit are without a win this season and are yet to find the back of the net but Holden believes a positive result at the City Ground will depend on how his men impose themselves from the first whistle.

Continuing his preview for this weekend’s trip north, Holden said: “It’s about how we start the game. They’re a team in a poor run of form so they’ll be looking for a leg up early of course to get some confidence so we have to make sure we don’t give them that. Then we have to play to our style. They’re dangerous in attack and Luke Freeman is another very good player to add to that so we know their threats, we just have to make sure we’re on our game.

“They’re a good team. They haven’t scored a goal or got a result but, plus a cup game, it’s only been four games. They have front players who can cause any teams damage if you allow them to so there’s that to take care of, as well as ourselves guarding against complacency.

“The players are confident and that’s exactly how we want them to approach games. At the same time, every game in isolation is dangerous if you don’t approach it in the right way.”

And a fourth consecutive win could maintain City’s position at the top of the table, with the Robins currently locking horns with fellow-unbeaten rivals Reading.

But spirit is naturally high with their 100% record so far and that gives Holden confidence in the what the club is trying to achieve this season.

The head coach added: “Team morale is excellent. We’ve talked about building that team spirit which will be massive for any successful season. That’s developing nicely particularly with new members of staff and players coming.

“We’ve had a steady start but we’re only three games in. We’re nowhere near where we want to be but there are lots of signs of progress.”

Robins TV

The match will be exclusively available to stream on Robins TV with all the build-up from 2.30pm.

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