By FRANCO PANIZO
Stuart Holden’s latest setback might be deeply discouraging, but Bolton Wanderers head coach Dougie Freedman has given his oft-injured player a vote of confidence in the aftermath of Monday’s news.
Freedman touched on Holden’s early withdrawal from Monday’s Under-21 game vs. Everton – the midfielder’s first bit of game action since being sidelined with another knee issue last July – on Thursday in a press conference and the manager expressed his frustration in seeing Holden go down with yet another knock while also praising his character. Holden played just 23 minutes before being removed in the match.
“It’s disappointing news for us all,” said Freedman. “We don’t know the exact results at the moment, but we feel that it’s the same injury. He’s since had his scans and he’s going to fly back to America to see his specialist on Monday. Hopefully he can read his scans and tell us good news, but if not he will need to go into the knee and have a look at it.
“I did go and meet Stuart the following night to have a long chat with him – he’s very positive and no matter what the outcome of this is, he will carry on and keep on going. I want to be very clear to everybody that Stuart Holden will be here in some capacity at this football club – he is such a fantastic lad and is a great ambassador for this football club.”
Freedman’s kinds words towards the 28-year-old Holden, who has suffered a number of knee injuries since 2010, did not stop there. Freedman continued to gush over Holden, whose World Cup hopes with the U.S. Men’s National Team seem in serious jeopardy.
“He is a giver, and I believe that this football club needs people like that,” said Freedman. “Some people are just take, take, take, but Stuart has never once talked about his situation – he only ever talks about how we can win games and that is music to my ears.
“Stuart will hopefully be fine and will be back playing, but if he’s not then he’ll be back here during the summer trying to get fit to get back in some capacity. He just says to me that this is a challenge, and unfortunately for him he’s had these challenges all at once right in the middle of his career when he should arguably be in his best form. He isn’t the sort of guy who looks at it that way though – all he asks for is the support to get through the challenges and that’s what we’re going to give him.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the attitude he shows in training – he’s never talking about himself, he is always concerned about how the fans see the game and his outlook will get him through life.”
What do you make of Freedman’s comments about Holden? Fearing the worst? Think Holden’s World Cup chances are done?
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