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Derby delight has Dean Holden buzzing after ‘brilliant few days’ for Robins

Huddersfield Town v Bristol City – Sky Bet Championship – John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Bristol City head coach Dean Holden praised his team’s fighting spirit after they sealed a 1-0 Severnside derby win over Cardiff in the Welsh capital.

Chris Martin’s strike in just the second minute fired the Robins up to second in the Sky Bet Championship table and continued what has been a fine start to the season for Holden’s men.

Cardiff had plenty of chances but paid the price for failing to convert.

“It’s been a brilliant few days and back-to-back wins feel fantastic,” said Holden. “You can’t come here and get a result like that without real spirit and we had that.

“You have to do everything well to win in the Championship, but I don’t think they created too many chances. The boys stood up to everything.

“It’s an incredible team spirit we have got. We had to fight for everything and I am just so proud of the performance.”

Bristol were without striker Famara Diedhiou who returned a positive Covid-19 test, but they still did enough to beat their Welsh rivals.

“He had symptoms on Wednesday morning. We came here with 18 players and two youngsters on the bench,” Holden said of Diedhiou.

“But we fought and the biggest thing is all the supporters will have really enjoyed it. People are being hit hard by this second lockdown and so to put a smile on people’s faces is great.”

The Robins went ahead in just the second minute when Martin tapped home from Antoine Semenyo’s low cross.

After that it was the Bluebirds who dominated and the home side had 17 shots on goal, five on target, and 11 corners. They could still not break through.

Striker Kieffer Moore had Cardiff’s best opportunities and went close on several occasions, but visiting goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was equal to everything the home side threw at him.

Cardiff, play-off semi-finalists last season, have now won just three games all season and only one at home. They are 13th in the table, but manager Neil Harris is refusing to panic.

“I have to be honest – I’m absolutely gutted. I feel like I have had my wallet pinched out of my pocket. We were by far the better team,” he said.

“We dominated the game, the ball, and had the better chances. I feel robbed. It’s a game we could and should have won. We have got to defend better. It can’t keep happening.

“We have created enough chances to win two or three games and we have to find that clinical edge. Some of our football was outstanding and it baffles me how we have not won the game.

“Our performances are improving massively and we will pick up results. There is absolutely no panic from me.”