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‘We must stick to our identity and DNA’ - Holden

Dean Holden believes City can get back to a positive result against Charlton Athletic, when the two sides meet in the Sky Bet Championship Boxing Day fixture (3pm).

The assistant head coach says it is business as usual behind the scenes as City remain focused on the task at hand and have prepared themselves with the best chance of overcoming the Addicks at the Valley.

City may have lost their last three games but with the fixtures coming thick and fast over the festive period particularly, the focus quickly shifts on to the next match and the chance to move forward.

Discussing the Robins’ attitude and mentality, Holden said: “What’s important is that we stick to our identity, our DNA as a football club: what we’re good at, what the players are capable of delivering, we fight for every point, every second ball and we have quality throughout the team who can score goals.

“Any season will have its ups and downs and the last few results have gone against us so what’s important is that we stay calm, we stay committed to moving forward, to look at every single aspect of our game plan and preparation and there’s no question we will start to get results.

“There’s no question of the physical exertion the players go through in 95 minutes of a Championship game. The recovery between games is important; we have fantastic staff behind the scenes that make sure the recovery protocols are in place to maximise every single marginal gain that we can get.”

Holden also reserved praise for the supporters, who travel across the country at what can be an expensive time of the year, with the trip to Charlton the second of back-to-back away matches either side of Christmas Day.

The thankful assistant head coach said: “It’s a wonderful time of year with the games coming thick and fast. We’re all supporters who love going to games at Christmas, certainly we value and appreciate the support from our away fans. There are lots of things to buy at this time of year so for them to put their hands in their pockets to travel, we really appreciate that and we want to go to Charlton and come home with the three points."

Thursday presents the chance to do a season double over Lee Bowyer’s Charlton, following the dramatic 2-1 win at Ashton Gate where Josh Brownhill’s last-gasp strike secured the points.

It was a perfect end to the night in BS3 and could well be motivation for Boxing Day’s trip.

Holden recalled: “It’s moments like that which is why we love football. It was a fantastic end to a game. It was a wonderful through ball from Kasey Palmer than he out of everyone in the stadium saw, executed, then Brownhill ran onto it and what a great finish.

“It was a competitive, tough game. Charlton are going through a tough period now, in terms of results, and we go there halfway through the season in a competitive position, with a chance in the second half of the season. It’s all to play for with injuries coming back so the squad is looking strong.”

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