Bristol City assistant boss Dean Holden will warn his men of the threat Sunderland can pose in tomorrow’s Championship clash at the Stadium of Light.
The high-flying Robins, on a high after being drawn to meet Manchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, are determined to get back to winning ways in the league against the second-bottom Black Cats (3pm kick-off tomorrow).
Holden, a big success under head coach Lee Johnson at Ashton Gate, says City – fresh from thumping Crystal Palace in the cup in midweek – must beware the “wounded animal” as they take on a Sunderland team without a win in 10 Championship games.
Holden told bcfc.co.uk: “You’ve got to be careful. It’s probably a team that is low on confidence at the moment, but they’ve got some dangerous players in forward areas, they really have.
“They’ve got a manager, in Simon Grayson who’s got multiple promotions, so he knows this division better than anybody in terms of Sunderland’s position.
“I’m sure, given time, that he’ll turn them around and probably go and get promoted again.
“What we’ve got to be careful of is the run that they’ve been on, they aren’t going to lose and draw every week, they’re going to get a result at some point. We’ve got to make sure it’s not on Saturday.
“The optimism at the moment is fantastic.”
City, who lost 3-0 at home to Leeds last weekend, will test six-goal frontman Famara Diédhiou’s knee injury ahead of tomorrow’s game, while Korey Smith (hamstring), Nathan Baker (knee) and Bobby Reid (ankle) all trained yesterday and could return at the Stadium of Light.
Senegalese striker Diédhiou twisted a knee when landing following an aerial duel with Palace’s ex-Sunderland left-back, Patrick van Aanholt, on Tuesday night.
Holden said: “He was on crutches today and in a brace. It doesn’t look good, but we won’t know more until he has a scan.”
Eros Pisano and Milan Djuric returned from long-term injuries for the 4-1 victory over Palace and are again available.