Dougie in no rush to get Holden in harness
WANDERERS fans have been warned not to expect Stuart Holden’s first-team comeback to happen overnight.
Fears were raised over the midfielder’s fitness when his name did not appear in the squad to face Crystal Palace last weekend.
But it is understood Holden was pencilled-in to play for the development squad, alongside David Wheater, before Monday’s game against Newcastle United at Leyland was postponed due to bad weather.
The American’s rehabilitation from a serious knee injury is still viewed as a long-term project, and though Dougie Freedman admits there is mounting pressure to play him on a regular basis after he returned to the fray against Sunderland in the FA Cup replay last Tuesday night, he is reluctant to rush him into action.
“Stuart could do with another couple of 90-minute games in the reserves,” the manager said. “He’s such an infectious character, he’s desperate to get involved.
“We’ll have to look at that one carefully and then decide at the last minute how much, if any, he can play against Everton.
“He only played 20 minutes at Sunderland. It’s difficult to say whether he can start, or come on if there was an injury in the third minute.
“I’ve got to think about a guy’s career here. I understand I’ve got a responsibility to the club and to the fans but I have got a responsibility to Stuart.
“There is definitely a pressure put on me to play him but right now might not be the time for him to start.”