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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, September 24th 2020

‘It’s how we respond now’ – Holden

Dean Holden wants to see his City squad hit back after suffering a first loss of the season against Aston Villa on Thursday night.

The 3-0 defeat ended City’s 100 per cent winning start – after four wins from their opening four games – so Thursday’s result meant a first defeat for Holden as head coach.

Villa’s win also brings an end to the Robins’ Carabao Cup run. They now have two full days to prepare for Sunday’s return to Sky Bet Championship action, when they host Sheffield Wednesday (1pm KO) – live on Robins TV.

Holden said: “It’s now all about the league and a positive response is needed. It’s always about what we do next, recovery is big now and Sheffield Wednesday played last night (Wednesday) so they have an extra day but it’s not too big a deal, as long as we recover properly and attack the game as we did in the previous four.”

Holden also acknowledged the way Aston Villa played and said it was a learning experience for the younger members of his side.

He said: “We had Sess (Sessegnon) at right-wing back, Niclas (Eliasson) at left-wing back so these are positions they haven’t played too much recently. It’s minutes in the bank which is the positive with some good performances when Tyreeq (Bakinson) came on. He’s proved what a great player he is and it was a great lesson for our younger players because when a Premier League outfit moves the ball like they did, with their movement, it was difficult to live with at times but it is what we aspire to be.

“When you concede two goals in the first 15 minutes, three minutes apart, it’s difficult to come back from. We responded and it was important to get into half-time 2-0 down as a minimum. We had a big chance with Fam’s (Diédhiou) header to get to 2-1 and who knows [if we had scored].

“There was a big shout for a penalty in the second half and then they get the third goal. We went toe-to-toe with them to try and get back in the game but of course you leave yourself a little bit open to the counter-attack.

“They were clinical and Max (O’Leary) has made some great saves for us. We have to take it on the chin, it was the first punch on the nose, it was always coming, and it’s come in game five. Now it’s about how we respond.”

City’s Championship fixture with the Owls will be exclusively streamed on Robins TV.

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