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Bristol City manager sacked after sixth straight loss

Bristol City’s sixth successive league and cup defeat last night came at a cost, with manager Dean Holden getting the sack after only seven months in charge.

Dean Holden was let go immediately after Bristol City’s 2-0 defeat by Reading last night (Photograph courtesy of Bristol City FC)

After a morale-sapping 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Watford, Holden had demanded a reaction from his squad in the lead-up to the match at home to Reading.

“I’d be fuming if I was one of our fans,” Holden told Robins TV. “If I saw my team lose 6-0 off the back of what happened against Cardiff [a limp 2-0 home defeat on February 6], I would be raging. We are raging and we have to respond.”

But all Holden got was another insipid performance, as City managed a mere single shot on goal for the third successive league match in a 2-0 reversal that ensured the manager’s 41st match in charge of the Robins would be his last.

The club said in a brief statement hours after the final whistle: “Dean Holden has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect. Following a sixth successive defeat, the Bristol City board have decided that a change of head coach is necessary.

“Assistant head coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing will take charge of training until further notice. The club would like to thank Dean for his service to the club over the years and we wish him well for the future.”

One of Holden’s final acts was to return Nahki Wells to the starting XI against Reading, but this did not have the desired effect as the visiting side controlled the game before striking a defining double blow just before half-time.

Reading danger man Lucas Joāo netted his 20th goal of the season in the 42nd minute and captain Michael Morrison pounced right on half-time with a delicate chip after combining with the Portuguese.

Wells, who watched in horror from the sidelines on Saturday as Watford sprinted into a 5-0 lead before getting on for the final denouement, played the full 90 minutes last night. But, like those who came before him, pickings were few and far between, as City were consigned to a fourth straight shutout loss — their last goal coming from Wells in a 3-2 defeat by Brentford on February 3.

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes for Bermudians plying their trade in non-League football.

Jonté Smith was a second-half substitute in Woking’s 2-0 defeat away to Wrexham in the Vanarama National League. The Bermuda forward made his third appearance from the bench since signing for Woking last month, coming on in the 68th minute with the Welsh club already two up.

Justin Donawa was an unused substitute as Solihull Moors reignited their promotion push with a 3-1 win away to Aldershot Town that moved them up to twelfth, five points outside the promotion play-off places but with three games in hand.

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Published February 17, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 16, 2021 at 10:31 pm)

Bristol City manager sacked after sixth straight loss

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