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We have a great fighting spirit - Holden

A strong sense of togetherness and a fighting spirit is helping City as they head into each game, says Dean Holden.

The assistant head coach says it is the players' ability to focus on each game as they come, which means they relish each fixture.

And City travel to Bramall Lane in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night (7.45pm kick-off), off the back of wins against Hull City and Middlesbrough.

Looking ahead to the fixture against Chris Wilder's Blades, Holden told BCTV: "They have been very impressive. We have total respect for what he and Alan Knill have done there. It's a huge club. They have under achieved in the last few years I think, considering the size of the club, but they have gone there and got things going.

"They got promoted last season and have probably surprised a lot of people with where they are in the league. I think we both play similar football, we like to get the ball down and pass it.

"I read in Chris' comments after their last game that maybe one or two players didn't compete as they should have done, so we expect them to come out firing in front of the Sky cameras. 

"It's exciting for our players too, to go and perform under the lights and I am sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere.

"We've got it all on in terms of knowing what we are up against but from our point of view, we feel very confident. Everybody is fighting for each other, there's a great group spirit and we're in a great position in the league."

CLOSING THE GAP

While City can't jump up the Championship table, a win against the fourth-placed Blades means the Robins can go within three points of Cardiff City.

As it stands, City are third in the table, level on points with Wilder's Sheffield United, with Cardiff sitting in second behind leaders Wolves.

Holden said: "It's a chance for us to get closer to the top two. They play on Saturday so it puts pressure on them. The tactical battles will be interesting but the players will be brought right up to speed with what Sheffield United will throw at them."

WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IN FULL

WHAT HE SAID

"Everybody is fighting for each other, there's a great group spirit and we're in a great position in the league."

Dean Holden

FA CUP DRAW REACTION

The draw for the Emirates FA Cup third round was made live on BBC and BT Sport on Monday night, with City drawn away to Watford.

It will be a repeat of the Carabao Cup second round tie after City travelled to Vicarage Road back in August. Lee Johnson's side stunned the Premier League outfit with a 3-2 victory that night.

Holden continued: "There are a lot of games before before then and there is a different cup game on the horizon as well," referring to the Manchester United tie in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday, December 20th.

"The challenge as coaching staff now is to keep the players focussed for every game and this season the payers have been very good at that. They have been able to get past one performance and quickly focus on the next one.

"When it comes around it will be a tough game. It's away from home against a Premier League side but we have already been there and got a good result previously so from a mindset point of view, I'm sure the younger players from the night will have good memories."