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'We want to keep momentum going' - Holden

Dean Holden wants his Robins to pick up where they left off before the international break and continue their good performances over the next busy schedule.

Sky Bet Championship leaders City face a run of seven games in a three-week period before the next break, starting with Saturday’s trip to Yorkshire to take on Barnsley (October 17th).

It’s been a mix of rest and recovery since the final whistle blew to confirm the 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest, but since Monday, full focus has been on the test at Oakwell.

“We’ve had three tough days this week already, the spirit is good and everybody is looking forward to this next game. As soon as the Forest game was done we couldn’t wait for it,” Holden explained.

“We’ve only been together eight or nine weeks so it’s still very early. To have that early break wasn’t exactly what we wanted but there’s nothing we could’ve done so this week, since Monday morning, has been about focussing on Barnsley. The focus from the start of the week has been on this next game, to make sure they’re prepared mentally and we’ve had a good week. Of course you have to use this time wisely, once the next break is out of the way there will be a long period without one so we have to be as smart as we can with downtime for the players and staff, because it is a long season,” Holden said.

 

The Robins’ aim is now about consistency, building on what they have put together in these early stages of the campaign, and battling on through the challenge ahead.

Holden continued: “We want to continue that momentum we have built of good performances which hopefully and ultimately should end up in good results for us. Momentum is everything and the lads are in a good place, so when we get that first punch on the nose it’s about how we’ll respond to that, it will be interesting but that’s the Championship and we can’t wait for it.”

And the first task is Saturday’s trip to Oakwell, where the hosts Barnsley are winless in the Championship all season. But as Holden alluded to, the battle could come down to the players’ mental state if the table toppers are to flex their muscles again.

“The way they play, their press and how they go after the ball with high energy and they have good players in forward areas. I know they’ve not had a great start results-wise and the manager (Gerhardt Struber) left recently so there’s all that to consider but…the big thing for us is to make sure we approach the game in the right frame of mind,” he said.

Watch: Pre-Barnsley press conference

City face Barnsley at Oakwell this Saturday (3pm KO), with the match to be streamed live and exclusively on Robins TV. Coverage starts at 2.30pm.

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