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“Incredible” Korey Smith Is Part Of Big Swansea Threat, Says Dean Holden

By Paul Jones

Swansea City midfielder Korey Smith has been described as an “incredible servant” of Bristol City as he prepares to face his old club today.

Smith left the Robins on a free transfer to move to Swansea in the summer after six years at Ashton Gate.

He returns with his old club in second place in the Championship, under new manager Dean Holden, who took over from Lee Johnson in the summer.

Smith, 29, is likely to start in the continuing absence through injury of loanee Morgan Gibbs-White, but Kasey Palmer – another loan signing – is unavailable to play against his parent club because of the terms of the agreement.

Holden says the Swans are a team he admires and rates highly, although Steve Cooper’s side travel having taken just one point from their last two matches even though they remain in fifth place in the early season table.

“It will be great to see Korey, of course, an incredible servant for this football club,” said Holden.

“But it’s not just about Korey. They’re a good team, I like the way they go about things and the way that they play.

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“I’ve got a lot of respect for the management team there. They’ve got threats all over the pitch, in fairness to them.

“They’re a team that want to take the ball, they want to play expansive football, they get the wingbacks really high up the pitch. They try and cause you problems so we’ve studied them as much as we can and we’re ready for them.

“We’d like to think that we’ll get back to our level and we’ve got players that can hurt them as well.

“It’s a big game for the football club. It’s one that the supporters always look towards as well. The players are fully aware of that. At the same time, it’s the next three points on offer.

“They’ve started the season well, as have we, and I think they’re one of the better teams in the division.

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“They missed out narrowly last season, they’ve added some quality as well so they’ll cause any team problems. We’ve got to make sure that we get to our level that we’ve shown previously.”

Cooper’s men have 11 points on the board and boast an impressive away league record – excluding play-off games – which has seen them avoid defeat on their travels since February.

Add in the recent history of a fixture that has always been hard fought given the relative geographical proximity of the two clubs, and it’s a game both sets of supporters will be looking forward to.

“They’ve had a good return of points so far. This will be a really tough game, we know that, and it always is,” said the Swansea head coach.

“I think they’re as strong as any squad in the Championship in terms of depth. It’s a highly- resourced squad who – on their day – are a really good team.

“We know what to expect from them with the really strong squad that they have, and a good team.

“It has got the makings of a really good game. We believe we have enough to win any game.

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“I think it’s too early to say where teams are, as we’re only six games in.

“It’s a tough game, but one that we’ve got to be positive about and look forward to. The training ground is a really good place at the moment.”

If Swansea can seal a win at Ashton Gate on Saturday, it will see them leapfrog the Robins in the table and secure their fourth win of the season.


Bristol City Championship form: WWWWDL

Bristol City form (all competitions): WLWWDL


Swansea City Championship form: WDWWLD

Swansea City form (all competitions): WDWWLD

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