A lightning start, an injury crisis, and a slow slide down the table, Bristol City's campaign so far has been an act in three parts under rookie boss Dean Holden.
Appointed from within over the summer, following Lee Johnson's departure, Holden's introduction to second tier management was blemish-free. He reeled off four wins from his first four in the Sky Bet Championhip as The Robins led the table heading into the October international break. They also made progress to Round Three of the EFL Cup before bowing out to Aston Villa.
However, as the autumn months wore on Holden began to lose key players, and with them, points. They took just two points from five games in October before three wins on the bounce to begin November moved them back up into third.
Since then, however, they have taken 16 points from the last 42 available. They haven't drawn any of their last 12, winning five and losing seven, and arrive in TW8 tonight having lost their last five away league games by an aggregate of eight to one.
Only Famara Diedhiou (6), Nahki Wells (5), and Jamie Paterson (3) have scored more than twice this term while, at the other end, Wycombe Wanderers (16.3) are the only side to give up more shots per game than The Robins (14.9) away from home.
Charlie Goode (illness), Christian Norgaard, Pontus Jansson (both ankle), Emiliano Marcondes, Luka Racic (both back), and Shandon Baptiste (knee) will all miss out tonight. Winston Reid is eligible to play following his Deadline Day loan move from West Ham United while Bryan Mbeumo will be assessed after missing Saturday's win over Wycombe Wanderers.
Joe Williams played an hour for Bristol City's Under-23s yesterday as he continues his comeback but there's not much else positive on the injury front for The Robins. Andi Weimann (knee), Jay Dasilva (Tibia), Marley Watkins, Cameron Pring, Steven Sessegnon, Callum O'Dowda, George Nurse, (all hamstring), and Nathan Baker (thigh) are all out. Jamie Paterson may make his return from a hamstring injury tonight while Tommy Rowe is being assessed after going off injured against Derby County on Saturday. Henri Lansbury could make a debut following his arrival last week.
As a defender, Dean Holden made more than 400 professional appearances for ten clubs during a 15-year career. He was a League Two winner with Chesterfield in 2011 and played 57 times for Falkirk in the Scottish Premier Division in the mid-2000s.
He hung up his boots with Walsall in November 2014 to head to Oldham Athletic as a First Team coach under Lee Johnson. Three months later he took temporary, and then permanent charge, after Johnson departed for Barnsley. He won just three of 15 games in charge before rejoining Johnson as Assistant at Bristol City in 2016, following a short time with Walsall. When Johnson departed Ashton Gate last July, Holden took caretaker charge, a position that was made permanent in August.
⚖ Tim Robinson will take charge this evening
🆚 Bristol Post's Gregor MacGregor previews The Robins
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