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‘We need to get back to being hard to beat’ – Holden

Dean Holden says the squad must pull together and become ‘hard to beat’ as they look to get back to winning form ahead of their next Sky Bet Championship outing.

City fell to a second successive defeat in the league on Saturday, a 3-1 loss to Norwich City at Ashton Gate where a Teemu Pukki brace and Emiliano Buendia’s goal did the damage after Jack Hunt pulled the score back to 2-1.

City carved out the opportunities but came up against an in-form Tim Krul, the post and a missed penalty. Holden was also disappointed with the manner of which his side conceded those three first-half goals.

Holden said: “We did get back into the game at 2-1 and I thought we got a real foothold in the game. To concede as we did on half-time was a sucker punch.

“We defended poorly first half and we need to get back to being hard to beat and get back to basics. We were far too open as a unit, they (Norwich) have good players but we’re disappointed with the goals we conceded.”

City have not won since victory against Nottingham Forest prior to the October international break, though they will be recovering from their Halloween cuts quickly then they go again on Tuesday night against Huddersfield Town (November 3rd, 7pm KO).

“We gave it everything we had, we’re a bit light and we have to really stick together,” Holden explained, reflecting on a tough period for the Robins. “This is a test about strong leadership in this period. We win and lose together; we will pull together now and go to Huddersfield on Tuesday and have a real go at them.

“We have strong characters in the group, we have to pull together. It’s easy when things go well but they’re not at the moment so it’s all about the response.”

Nahki Wells’ second-half penalty was a big talking point in the match, with the striker chipping the ball over Krul’s crossbar. If he had scored – as he did from the spot against Swansea City a week earlier – Holden’s men would’ve been just the one goal behind in their pursuit for a positive outcome.

“We had the game pretty much where we wanted it, we were right back in it on 75 minutes and if we scored the penalty, we would have had the momentum – who knows?” said Holden. “We didn’t take the opportunity; we have to get back to basics quickly now because we have another game on Tuesday.

“He (Wells) scored his last one against Swansea, he practices them every day in training and I fancied him to put it away today. He didn’t and we had to respond to that.”

Tuesday night’s trip to face the Terriers will be available to supporters via a £10 matchday pass with Robins TV.

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