Holden - We're Ready For Sheffield United
Bristol City assistant gaffer Dean Holden has said that the side are ready for the Sheffield United test this weekend and he believes they will be wary of us.
With United reacting well to promotion from League One and starting this campaign very brightly indeed, strike pair Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp have scored 21 times between themselves and Holden knows they will provide a tough test, but he's confident that we can take all three points.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media ahead of the game, he explained.
'They have goals in the team in Clarke and Sharp but our squad is full of confidence and fighting spirit. You can see that in training every day and in our performances so we are very excited to be going up there on Friday.'
He went on to say.
'To keep a striker quiet means stopping the supply as well so it's about the lads in front as well. Clarke at his best is a very good player. He's someone the gaffer (Johnson) and I have played with previously so we know all about him. He seems to have found a home at Sheffield United and Chris Wilder seems to got his performances up to a high level and he's the top scorer in the league. They have quality around the pitch but we are fully concentrated on what we are good at. I'm sure Sheffield United will be wary of our players so we have to make sure that we play at our maximum, go into games full of energy, full of fight and who knows where it will take us.'
Turning thoughts to ourselves more, he praised the sense of togetherness and the fighting spirit within the group.
'They have been very impressive. We have total respect for what he and Alan Knill have done there. It's a huge club. They have under achieved in the last few years I think, considering the size of the club, but they have gone there and got things going. They got promoted last season and have probably surprised a lot of people with where they are in the league. I think we both play similar football, we like to get the ball down and pass it. I read in Chris' comments after their last game that maybe one or two players didn't compete as they should have done, so we expect them to come out firing in front of the Sky cameras. It's exciting for our players too, to go and perform under the lights and I am sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere. We've got it all on in terms of knowing what we are up against but from our point of view, we feel very confident. Everybody is fighting for each other, there's a great group spirit and we're in a great position in the league.'
'It's a chance for us to get closer to the top two. They play on Saturday so it puts pressure on them. The tactical battles will be interesting but the players will be brought right up to speed with what Sheffield United will throw at them.'
Having been drawn against Watford in the FA Cup third round.
'There are a lot of games before before then and there is a different cup game (Manchester United League Cup) on the horizon as well. The challenge as coaching staff now is to keep the players focussed for every game and this season the payers have been very good at that. They have been able to get past one performance and quickly focus on the next one. When it comes around it will be a tough game. It's away from home against a Premier League side but we have already been there and got a good result previously so from a mindset point of view, I'm sure the younger players from the night will have good memories.'
In terms of team news Jamie Paterson remains a doubt at this stage.
'We will see how Pato is once we start to get ready in the next couple of days. He's had a slight issue but fingers crossed he can get on the bus and up to Sheffield.'
Holden reaffirmed that Milan Djuric required an operation but Famara Diedhiou has now returned from France where he had been undergoing rehab whilst spending time with his family.