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The trek to become match-fit continues for Stu Holden. The goal for the American central midfielder is to be able to play 90 minutes for Bolton's first team and soon. Contract talks are looming for Holden and Bolton Wanderers will offer the best deal possible for the midfielder based on how fit he is.
It's all looked very positive for Stu, having made two first team substitute appearances in the FA Cup and a number of reserve outings. A small setback against Manchester City's reserves had fans holding their breaths but Holden has come out of that challenge with just some scratches and bruises. ost recently, Stu completed 90 minute for Bolton Wanderers in a closed-door match. This is the first time in the latest recovery bid that Holden has completed a full match. Previously, every appearance had been under 75 minutes. Holden, obviously excited and happy with his progress, spoke to the club's official website:
"Things are going well. The medical team have been keeping a real close eye on my progress. They have got me working to a very detailed and careful training schedule.
"The only thing that hasn't helped is the weather! I have had a few games that I was set to play in called off, so we have had to tweak the programme.
"To play the full 90 minutes at Euxton was great, despite the conditions! It was another huge step forward for me. I felt good out on the pitch and to play the full game was great. Now I just want to keep on track and keep progressing.
"I have had great support from my family, friends and of course the club and supporters. The fans have been really good, sending me messages of encouragement and nice words when I am out and about, so again I would like to thank everyone for that.
"It was good to be involved in the first team games against Sunderland and Everton. The reception I got from the Bolton fans at both Sunderland and the Reebok was a really special moment for me - it was a great feeling.
"We are sticking to the plan and making sure all the boxes are ticked and that I am at 100 percent."
Holden received a standing ovation from three sides of the Reebok Stadium in the match against Everton, with the "Stu-S-A" chant ringing out across the ground. We imagine it'll be a similar reception when he's named to the starting lineup and even more when he scores his first goal of the year.