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Dean Holden refuses to enter race to replace Lee Johnson at Bristol City

Watford v Bristol City – FA Cup – Third Round – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Steven Paston)

Dean Holden declined to toss his hat into the ring to replace the sacked Lee Johnson after his first match as Bristol City caretaker manager ended in a much-needed 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Hull.

A goal in each half from Famara Diedhiou and Jamie Paterson ended a nine-match streak without a victory and produced a bright start to life after the sacking of Johnson at the weekend.

But assistant head coach Holden was keeping feet firmly on the ground after a promising start to his spell at the helm.

“While I would like a shot at management at some point in my career, my only thought now is to put smiles on the faces of our supporters,” he said.

“It is not about me at the moment. It is about ending the season as strongly as possible.

“I wanted the players to perform with freedom tonight and they have come up with two great goals.

“The first half was as I wanted and in the second we showed real fight. Overall, I was very happy with the performance.

“We lost Nathan Baker to injury in the first minute, but the players switched on to the ways of overcoming that setback.

“Now it is on to the next training session and a long trip to Middlesbrough. I am not thinking beyond that at the moment.

“We needed a win to end a poor run. I asked the players to go out and play as if it was the first game of the season.”

Diedhiou shot the Robins ahead on 41 minutes from Paterson’s first time pass into the box before Paterson doubled the advantage with a superb 30-yard free kick eight minutes after the break.

Hull skipper Jordy De Wijs gave his side hope with a glancing header from George Honeyman’s free kick on the hour mark, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers remained in the bottom three.

Tigers boss Grant McCann said: “The players are giving everything. We are fighting for our lives, but we need to be better defensively.

“Performances since lockdown have been so much better. We have more players fit and have been in every game.

“Tonight their first goal followed an unlucky ricochet and the second was an unbelievable free kick, which we could do little about.

“Our tempo wasn’t great at the start of the game. But the lads responded really well to going behind and the second half performance was good.

“The ref gave a lot of free kicks against us, particularly Tom Eaves, so it was no surprise when he gave the one that led to their second goal.

“We cannot dwell on this result because games are coming thick and fast. There is another huge one against Millwall coming up.

“We had chances tonight and are getting into dangerous areas. I can’t fault the effort the players are putting in.”