Bullish Robins' boss pledges to mix it with Canaries

Emi Buendia scored a superb goal in Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win at Bristol City last October

Emi Buendia scored a superb goal in Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win at Bristol City last October - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Bristol City boss Dean Holden admits the Robins will need to hit top gear to halt Norwich City. 

Teemu Pukki and Emi Buendia were too hot to handle in October’s 3-1 Championship win and Holden is preparing the play-off contenders for their toughest test yet. 

“I think if you look on paper, yes, this could be,” he said. “But we don't know do we? Some of the games against the teams in and around the bottom of the division have been really tough games as well.

"Norwich City are one of the teams relegated from the Premier League with parachute money and they have an incredible depth to their squad. I think they only really lost (Jamal) Lewis in the summer and they kept (Todd) Cantwell, (Max) Aarons and Buendia, top players. 

“They've been the best team this season so far, and that's why they're top of the league. It's a fantastic game and we go there with belief and like every game believing that we can get something from it. We're full of confidence and it's going to be a game we look forward to. 

“He (Pukki) was clinical on the day at Ashton Gate. In fairness you've got to stop the supply, and they have lots of players who can take the ball and handle the ball and can create moments of quality.

"It's of course a team effort when you go to a place like Norwich, but we've got some threats in our team and we hope we can give them problems.” 

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Holden’s confidence is in part due to the return from injury of influential Alfie Mawson. The on loan Fulham defender, who has been touted with the Canaries in the past, made his league comeback in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Preston.  

“We’re delighted that he’s back,” said Holden at his pre-match press call. “He’s only played two games since his return and they’ve been fantastic performances from him. He’ll tell you himself, he’s still got more to do in terms of consistency and gaining some rhythm to his game.

"But I think it shows you a lot about his personality and his character that he’s come back in. 

“He’s not been able to train a great deal, due to the injury that he suffered, but he’s gone out on the pitch and put in two fantastic performances. 

“He’s a real leader for us so I’m absolutely delighted that he’s back in the team.” 

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