Bristol City boss Dean Holden revealed how a pre-match film produced by Tomas Kalas helped inspire the Robins to victory over Coventry.
The defender’s late header earned the hosts a 2-1 opening-day victory at an empty Ashton Gate.
He was named captain on Saturday and made a film which he played to the squad an hour before kick-off.
Jamie Paterson’s goal after just 21 seconds put them ahead, but Matt Godden levelled for Coventry in their first match back in the Sky Bet Championship for eight years.
Defeat was harsh on the Sky Blues, but Holden praised Kalas’ impact after handing him the armband.
He said: “He put together a motivational video for the players on Friday which he showed an hour before kick-off. He’s taken it upon himself to be a leader.
“It was a great video – albeit with terrible music, although maybe I’m not cool enough. It was clips of some goals we’ve scored, big tackles, off the pitch and people bonding.
“There were some words of motivation, so the goosebumps were going afterwards.
“I had him in mind as captain in pre-season, but I wanted to assess everybody.
“It’s got to be someone who has a winning mentality and puts demands on himself and the ones around him. He is growing in leadership and I’m really pleased for him.
“I thought he played really well and we’re putting more demands on our defenders to score goals. They’ve been working after training and it’s nice for it to pay off.”
Paterson gave the hosts a dream start when he fired into the bottom corner.
Callum O’Hare hit the post and Leo Ostigard was thwarted by Dan Bentley as Coventry recovered to dominate the first half.
Godden levelled after 33 minutes after O’Hare’s cutback was only half cleared, but the Robins hit back after the break.
The introductions of Chris Martin and Tyreeq Bakinson helped them wrestle back control and Kalas nodded in Paterson’s corner to win it with eight minutes left before Andi Weimann clipped the bar late on.
“What a way to start and then for an hour Coventry took control. It was only in the last half an hour when we got it back again,” added Holden.
It was the Sky Blues’ first league defeat since December, after League One was ended early by the coronavirus pandemic, but boss Mark Robins refused to be downbeat.
He said: “It was a poor start from us after 20 seconds. We ended up out of shape and out of position and I bet they couldn’t believe their luck.
“After that we settled down and thought we played some really good stuff. The belief was there, we didn’t play with any fear, the goal we scored was good and at 1-1 we had some really good chances.
“There are things to be disappointed with because we’ve given the point away, they’ve not really hurt us too much.
“We ran out of legs, I think that’s to do with them having played after lockdown and at this stage it will make a difference until we can catch up.
“But there are some good things, they have aspirations for promotion and we’re looking at it slightly differently. There’s enough to take heart from.
“We’ll get fitter, quicker and benefit from this experience.”
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