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In brief: Pre-Sheffield United press conference

Dean Holden met the media ahead of Friday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Sheffield United.

The assistant head coach answered questions from the local and national press along with vice-captain Korey Smith.

Here's what they had to say:

DEAN HOLDEN

- City waiting on Jamie Paterson's tight hamstring

- Milan Djuric receives praise for battling through the pain barrier, as he requires surgery on his groin

- Holden happy with Emirates FA Cup third round draw away at Watford, having beaten them earlier in the season in the Carabao Cup

- City assistant head coach is concerned should they suffer any further injuries in the camp

- Holden praises the job Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has done at Bramall Lane

- Leon Clarke cited as a danger man and Holden played in the same team as the striker at Chesterfield, so knows all about him

- He adds: "This could be our toughest away games so far, but it should be one hell of a game"

- Holden plays down talk of "being promotion contenders", insisting "we just focus on the next game, even if they sounds boring!"

- Coach says City are having regular meetings on recruitment

Korey Smith discusses City's trip to Bramall Lane

KOREY SMITH

- Smith says drawing Watford away, where City have already enjoyed a victory already this season, is a positive

- Midfielder says he missed the draw as he was looking after his new born son Marley

- “I’ve not had much sleep in the past few days,” adds Dad-again Smith

- “We’ll be underdogs against Man Utd and Watford, but we’ve beaten several Premier League teams already this season, including Watford, so we back ourselves,” says Smith

- Smith says he enjoys it when City are doubted by those outside of the camp

- “We’ve got some big league games coming up and I’m sure the city is enjoying how we are doing at the moment,” he adds

- “I’m enjoying my football and I feel like I’m in a good place at the moment,” says the midfielder

- Smith says Sheffield United deserves credit for keeping their form going since promotion

- “We have such a young team - I’m 26 and I’m in oldies when we play ‘oldies versus the young ones’ in training!” jokes Smith

- Smith rejects press talk of a “season-defining” game in Sheffield

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