Freedman sees FA Cup run as vital for Holden and Vela
DOUGIE Freedman believes FA Cup success can aid the comeback of dynamic duo Stuart Holden and Josh Vela.
Wanderers booked a fourth round home tie with Everton a week on Saturday with a stunning victory over Sunderland on Tuesday night.
The extra date pushes back the planned game against Peterborough United, although a new date has yet to be confirmed by the two clubs, but also gives Freedman extra time to complete the rehabilitation of his prized midfield pair.
“I’ve said before that we need those extra games and it’s great to have them against Premier League opposition,” he said. “To get Josh and Stuart involved could be really important to us.
“It’s going to be difficult against Everton, sure, but if we play like we did against Sunderland at home and at the Stadium of Light, then it’s a winnable game.”
Holden came off the bench to replace Vela on Tuesday night to taste his first competitive action for 16 months.
And Freedman was delighted to welcome the American talisman back into the fold after such a long fight back to fitness.
“I don’t even want to think about how long Stuart had been out for – but he is a battler, a winner, and when he came out on to the pitch I was so delighted for him and his family,” he said. “He has got a long way to go but he knows that this club, through me, are fully behind him.”
Freedman praised the manner of the win on Wearside but urged supporters not to get too carried away, while his rebuilding job continues at the Reebok. “I’m not standing here and saying we’ve changed the world with one result. It’s going to take time,” he said.
“We want to play a certain way and that might not always suit the Championship. We need to show a little bit of patience.
“It didn’t quite work against Millwall but that’s the way we play and that’s the way we train now. “It’s no secret why I’m here, because it’s what I do best. I want to get the best out of the wonderful Academy and try to look to the future.
“Bit by bit that is happening. We stood up to Premiership qualities at times against Sunderland, so let’s not get carried away.
“But it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”