Wells can only watch as City suffer emphatic defeat
Nahki Wells watched from the substitutes bench as Bristol City suffered their biggest loss of the season, a 6-0 thrashing away to fourth place Watford in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
Wells, who was left out of the starting line-up following the team’s midweek loss to Sheffield United in the FA Cup, eventually came on in the 86th minute as a replacement for strike partner Famara Diedhiou.
However, by then the damage was already done, with Watford completing the scoring with their final goal in the 90th minute.
The game was all but over at half time with Watford holding a 4-0 lead. Dean Holden, the City manager, admitted it was ‘a horrible day’ for the club after what he called an unacceptable performance at Vicarage Road.
It took Watford only two minutes to take the lead through Ken Sema, and the goals came regularly after that with Sema and Ismaila Sarr both scoring twice.
The loss was the seventh straight away defeat in the league for Bristol City, and the fifth in league and cup play in just the last 15 days. They are back in action again tomorrow in another tough match, at home to fifth place Reading. Holden is hoping his team will have the right response.
“It’s a horrible day for everyone,” Holden told Robins TV after the loss. “The feeling sits right in the gut and to lose 6-0 away from home is unacceptable.
“We were outclassed by a far better opponent today. There were too many lapses in concentration. To go 3-0 down early … it’s a tough ask from there and as I say, everybody is on the floor.”
City have been fading lately in their push for promotion, with the latest loss dropping them to 13th in the standings, seven points behind sixth placed Bournemouth who occupy the final play-off spot.
“We’ll all look ourselves in the mirror, it’s what I’ve asked of the players,” Holden added.
“We come out fighting, you don’t quit, you don’t blame yourself or become a victim, you don’t blame someone else. This is a test for everybody connected with this performance.
“We’re all part of it and to move forward quickly you have to step back and think ‘where are we now? Where do we need to get to?’ That starts with hard work and you don’t get anywhere without it.”
Holden is now demanding his players turn a negative into an immediate positive in order to stop the rot. “We go back to working hard, get it out of the system as quickly as you can and use it as fuel,” he said.
“There are two ways you can go: you can go under or find a way and all through my life I have found a way to respond to challenges and that’s what I’ll do now.”
The manager added: “We’re all culpable, we’re part of what makes a winning or losing team. As I’ve said since the start of the season, we win together and lose together.
“We don’t blame, it’s a case of being honest enough about where we went wrong and now we’re lucky we have a game on Tuesday night and we have to show a response.”