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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, August 21st 2020

'Pleasing display' - Holden assesses pre-season win

City Head Coach Dean Holden was encouraged by what he saw as his Robins side put four goals past a well-drilled Cheltenham Town.

It was City's first action back at Ashton Gate ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Nahki Wells put three first-half goals past the Gloucestershire outfit, with Andreas Weimann rounding off the afternoon with a late fourth goal of his own.

Holden was pleased with how his players were able to carve out chances behind the Cheltenham backline, while he also acknowledged their pressing and work rate with fitness levels key to a strong campaign ahead.

He said: "Some of the quality of our play was outstanding with the ball, particularly the second and third goals came from penetrative runs down the side of the centre-halves. We played forward and direct with our passing so those were two good moment of quality.

"Without the ball, the transition up the pitch with the amount of regains we got was impressive. It shows the physical level of the player and at 3-0 up you wonder what's the mentality going to be? Are we going to sit in or get on the front foot and go at them again? We did that and got the fourth though the referee disallowed it."

With City in control, it was about they would see the match out. Holden suggested it was not an easy contest as Cheltenham ensure the hosts wouldn't run away with the game too easily.

Holden continued: "The last 20 minutes was about game management and making sure we kept the clean sheet because we've set clean sheet targets and for goals scored.

"Fair play to Michael Duff (Cheltenham manager) because he's got his team playing good football. When we were sloppy and gave the ball away, they had good possession without really hurting us so all in all I'm pleased but there's still plenty to work on."

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