Victorious Bristol City manager Dean Holden heaped praise on Stoke City and manager Michael O’Neill as he left the Bet365 Stadium with three points on Sunday.
Nahki Wells and Andi Weimann scored the goals as the Robins continued their impressive start to the season with a deserved 2-0 win.
Stoke, meanwhile, have just one point and no goals from their opening two games in the Championship.
After the match, Holden spoke of his respect for the Stoke squad and O’Neill.
“I think they’re an outstanding group of players – Michael O’Neill is a manager I hold in the highest regard. He’s a top international manager,” said Holden, reports Bristol Live.
“Without a pre-season under our belt we knew it was going to be difficult today, with the way that they play they put you under pressure.
They get the ball forward into players like Vokes. Nick Powell and Sam Clucas are top performers. If you allow them time and space they can hurt you.
“Most of the work we do is on us – we want our players to believe in the way that we play but we touch on a few little things such as set-pieces.
“Michael has been renowned for excellent set-piece production and we had to be mindful of that, when the ball got thrown into our box we defended it well.
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“I said to the players before the game that you can’t come to this place and not have to scrap at times. And that’s the pleasing thing in all the results so far this season.
“When we’ve had the ball we’ve moved it well but it’s not just a case of having possession but it’s what you do with in games. We’re clinical when we get the chances and we’re managing to keep our goal relatively quiet.
“I can’t remember Stoke really having a chance on our goal. Every performance for me has to have a bit of everything. You’ve got to scrap at times, you’ve got to put your body on the line, you’ve got to pass the ball with belief to your teammates. And it was all there in different parts of the game.”