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No excuses says Holden

Dean Holden insists there will be no excuses as the Robins regroup after a second consecutive defeat in the Sky Bet Championship.

A deflected shot from Tom Bradshaw and Mason Bennett’s curled strike to finish a counter-attack dealt the blows in a 2-0 defeat for City at Ashton Gate.

Nahki Wells went agonisingly close with a free-kick which Lions’ keeper Bartosz Bialkowski pushed on to the post but the Robins’ task was made more difficult when Famara Diédhiou was sent off for a second yellow card.

Despite nine players on the treatment table, Holden reflected on a disappointing evening as City created few opportunities against a well-drilled Millwall side off the ball.

 

“It was a disappointing performance for us,” Holden told Robins TV. “It’s a game we fancied to get something from. It was an improvement from Saturday’s performance, some of our play was good until the final third but we couldn’t find the quality to create enough chances. Nahki had the effort in the first half cleared off the line and we have to take that on the chin.

“[Now we] stick together, keep fighting, [there’s a] no excuse policy. We’ve said we don’t look for excuses, everybody knows it’s a tough schedule for us and we keep going with another game in three days. We’ll look at this game, we can’t write it off.

"We conceded a deflected first-half effort and caught trying to play out for the second one. Some of our play was good, it was much better compared to Saturday when we didn’t play our way at all. Tonight, we moved the ball pretty well but we weren’t able to open up a team who came here and sat deep behind the ball.

“They probably came here to nick a goal on the counter or from a set-piece. They got the deflection, they sat deep and made it difficult for us but we move on.”

Next for City is a Friday night trip to Preston North End, live on Sky Sports. Holden will be without the suspended Diédhiou for the trip to Deepdale, while the head coach remains hopeful Tomas Kalas (dead leg) will recover after having to be subbed off against the Lions.

Diédhiou’s dismissal on Tuesday night came after he received a second yellow card for a high foot. The striker was attempting an overhead kick but caught his opponent.

“He’s clearly got his eyes fixated on the ball. No, it’s not [a red card],” said Holden.

And on Kalas he added: “Fingers crossed he’s back with us for Friday. We’re missing 10 and hopefully it won’t be 11.

“I’ve said in there that we stick together; we have to. It’s a tricky run we’re on and teams will go through this. We have to stick together and look for a result on Friday.”

City versus Preston (December 18th, 8pm KO) will be broadcast live on Sky and therefore, due to EFL regulations, will not be streamed on Robin TV.

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