Date: 9th February 2018 at 3:52pm
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Bristol City’s assistant head coach Dean Holden has said the side have been working hard on some fresh ideas to combat the approach we will face in the remainder of the campaign from other teams.

Meeting with the media ahead of this weekend’s clash with Sunderland at Ashton Gate, City had of course been on a warm weather training camp in Dubai, and Holden told the Official Site that with sides started to set up more defensively against us as the season has progressed, whilst out in Dubai we had been working on a few new tricks to help us on that front when sides sit back.

‘We have touched on things this week, we have tried to be better when we have the ball in certain areas and we hope against Sunderland that we will see the fruits of that. We have an idea of how Sunderland might set up. We focus on ourselves and how we can be better. We`re looking to get back to the fee-flowing attacking football we have shown most of this season.’

Holden went on to say.

‘Sunderland come here very experienced themselves with a great manager Chris Coleman, so we expect them to be very organised and we expect them to hit us on the counter attack. We have to be wary of that and we have to better. He`s got certain players in there who`ve been there a long time, he has bought new players too so we know what to expect and we are fully versed on how they are set up. The focus is on us. There will be 20,000 fans here which shows how the supporters are getting right behind the team for a fantastic three months ahead of us.’

Talking more about the benefits of the warm weather camp, he went on to add.

‘The climate allowed us to get on the training pitch and work on a few more tactical areas. Teams play against us different now because they`re aware of our strengths in the attacking areas. Now it`s up to us to be better and find new ways of breaking teams down. That was the plan this week on a new training pitch, in good conditions – better than the weather back home I have been told, so it was a chance to get out there and get to grips with some new ideas.’

The camp had also been beneficial for helping our newbies to settle in a little bit quicker.

‘We could see the new players were coming together towards the end of the trip and that`s invaluable. It was similar to the summer trip in pre-season and it gave the gaffer a chance to speak to the players one-to-one. As a player you value that, to be able to speak to him in a relaxed environment and he was able to get across what he wants from each of them. We are very grateful to the club for the trip. The gaffer asked Steve Lansdown for money for the trip, which probably wasn`t in the budget, and the club have kindly produced it for us. It will hopefully help us going forward.’

Holden also confirmed that goalkeeper Frank Fielding could come back into contention for the game against Sunderland. He has of course missed the last three games following the groin injury he sustained at Pride Park in the game against Derby County but he has been progressing well.

Eros Pisano and Gary O’Neil continue to edge closer to a return as well.

‘Frankie has trained this morning and we will look at him tomorrow morning. Pisano has been back in light sessions and O`Neil is back on the training pitch as well so we have one or two back now which is great to see.’

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