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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, December 16th 2017

We showed heart, desire and quality - Holden

An elated Dean Holden hailed two “fantastic strikes” as City secured a 2-1 victory at home to Nottingham Forest.

Two long-range goals from Marlon Pack - his first of the season - and Joe Bryan ensured another three points for City, despite Forest’s early second-half strike from Kieran Dowell.

The win keeps City third in the Sky Bet Championship as they look to keep the pressure on Cardiff City and Wolves.

Speaking after the match, assistant head coach Dean Holden told BCTV: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the three points. It’s another home win which keeps the points coming, which is great. It was a performance full of heart, full of desire and quality.

“Nottingham Forest are a good team. They move the ball well and try to pull you into the parts of the pitch you don't want to be in and we had to be disciplined at times.

“They play the ball in their own half probably more than most and you’ve got to be disciplined and stay in your shape. It is difficult at home because obviously you want to go and get on the front foot.

“We worked on certain triggers that we have worked on in training, we knicked the ball back off them and more importantly, when we did, we made sure we got two fantastic goals on the day.

“We probably should have killed the game off sooner than we did but all in all it was a fantastic three points.”


Pack’s 25-yard effort opened the scoring before Bryan rifled a shot from even further out, wrong-footing the Forest keeper.

When asked which he preferred, Holden said: “I think Joe’s tried to out-do him, hasn’t he? They’re fantastic strikes, both looked like they’ve moved, especially the second one from Joe.

“From where I was standing it looked like it was going in one corner of the goal and I think that’s down to the balls we are using these days.

“They are two fantastic strikes, they’ve got the confidence to take the shots on and it’s great for Packy to finally get himself a goal. It’s been quite a while for him and I’m sure they will all enjoy the GIFs off the back of that as well.

“Forest’s goal is a shot from distance and not a great deal we could do about that. There are things we could have done in the build up to that and there are things to always improve on in any game, where we win, lose or draw but at this point in the season it’s great to get the three points.”

Back on the scoresheet: Marlon Pack


“We’re always confidence of scoring goal no matter who we play against because we have bright, forward players," said Holden.

"We’re dangerous from set-pieces with the long throw from Maggy (Hordur Magnusson) and Browny (Josh Brownhill) has unearthed a throw-in as well so we’re always confident.

“We knew Forest would have spells in possession which was probably 50/50 on the day. They normally out-do most people  We scored goals at the right time after what was a sow start if we are being honest but we scored two goals in ten minutes which has put us on the front foot.

“We’re disappointed to have come out for the second half and they have got that goal back [so quickly] but more importantly we held our nerve, kept our discipline and that’s a side of the game you need to show to win games and it’s fantastic to see.”

"They are two fantastic strikes, they’ve got the confidence to take the shots on and it’s great for Packy to finally get himself a goal."

Dean Holden


Holden continued: “The players have had bags of ice all over the changing room but as far as I can see everyone came through today unscathed. It was a testing game, a tough 90 minutes and going into Wednesday it will be good to field some questions about that game and talk about it with full focus now.

“Confidence is high in the camp, everybody feels involved and a part of it this season. Wednesday will be a fantastic occasion for everyone concerned; for the city of Bristol, for our supporters and for everyone who works behind the scenes.

“For the players on the pitch, it’s going to be fantastic to go up against such a huge team in Europe.

“We’ve said before that we go into every game believing we can win. We’re in good form, confidence is high and when this draw was made we had ten games before it.

“We were in good form then and wanted to still be in good form now. We’ve done that and that’s full credit to the players who have kept their focus. They have been focussed on every game as they have come and now Nottingham Forest has been put to bed, we can start getting excited about Wednesday.”