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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, February 21st 2018

We must be patient against Fulham - Holden

Dean Holden says City will need to wait for their opportunities against an in-form Fulham side, who have not lost a league game since mid-December.

Holden also wants City to compete for the full 90 minutes after seeing his team draw in their last couple of appearances.

They let slip 3-0 and 2-0 leads in their last two games, ultimately drawing against Sunderland and Leeds United respectively.

The manner of these results have not gone unnoticed but a win against Fulham on Wednesday evening would show once again City's ability to bounce back.

Speaking to BCTV, the assistant head coach said: "The reality is we have let go of winning positions in the last two games, the only games in the season that has happened. Because it is happened in back-to-back games attention has been brought towards it. There's not one fix. There were different scenarios.

"We were at home to Sunderland, a team struggling for confidence and we allowed them into the game too easily. At the weekend against Leeds United it was a tough place to go and a fantastic atmosphere to play in. They got a goal out of nothing, followed by the equaliser.

"Of course people are asking questions and we are trying to come up with the answers but nothing changes from our point of view. We de-brief after every game, we go through all the points where we can improve, we look at what went well and we have done well in those games.

"We have played some scintillating football going forward and of course we want to be a bit tighter at the back but overall we're sixth in the league and a lot of teams would happily swap positions with us."

WHAT HE SAID

"Of course people are asking questions and we are trying to come up with the answers but nothing changes from our point of view. We de-brief after every game, we go through all the points where we can improve, we look at what went well and we have done well in those games."

Assistant head coach, Dean Holden

'UNDER NO ILLUSIONS IT WILL BE TOUGH'

City ran out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage, thanks to first-half goals from Bobby Reid and Korey Smith. Since then, the Cottagers have lost only four times - three in the league with their last Championship defeat recorded against Sunderland in mid-December.

The Robins are also without a home win against Fulham since April 1990, while their opponents can boast the best possession (57.4%) and passing (82.7%) stats in the Championship this season.

So, can City halt the London club in their tracks?

Holden continued: "I hope so, we all hope so! It was a great night, looking back. It was a sign of things to come, with our attacking prowess, the energy we showed and Fulham are a very good team.

"They have improved dramatically, they have put together a fantastic run of results and are the in-form team in the division. We're under no illusions that it will be a difficult game.

"They have the best possession stats so we know their strengths, we know we have to be patient and where we can hurt them."

'WE NEED A 90-MINUTE PERFORMANCE'

Holden added: "We're not asking the fans to do anything differently to what they have done all season. Some of the nights they have had at Ashton Gate will live long in the memory and there will be some great nights to come and that's up to the players to keep putting in their performances.

"We want a 90-minute performance and the fans will respond like they have done all season."

BAKER RETURNS, PACK SUSPENDED

Defender Nathan Baker is available for selection once more, after serving his three-game suspension.

A loanee previously, Baker made his switch from Aston Villa permanent in the summer and he has gone on to be a regular starter for the first team.

Holden said: "He's been a fantastic presence at the back all season! He's a very quiet, well-mannered person but once he's on the pitch he's a warrior. We were disappointed to lose him for three games but it is what it is. He's back and he's a huge boost to the squad."

Elsewhere, Josh Brownhill has been passed fit but Marlon Pack will serve the first of his two-game ban after receiving his tenth yellow card of the season at Elland Road.

More than 20,000 supporters will be taking their seats at the Gate under the lights tonight, hoping to witness City's first home victory over Fulham, since April 1990.

Click here to buy your tickets

WATCH: BAKER'S BACK AND READY FOR FULHAM FIGHT

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