Freedman wants to talk contracts with Holden
DOUGIE Freedman wants Stuart Holden to stay at the Reebok – and hopes Wanderers’ upturn in form can help make it happen.
The Whites boss has had to keep contract talk under wraps while he tried to get the club moving in the right direction in the Championship table.
He also wanted to find out how the American’s fitness fared after spending virtually two years on the sidelines injured.
But with positive news on both fronts, Freedman indicated for the first time that the club could soon open discussions.
“It’s a hard one for Stuart because we want him to be here,” he said. “I have told him that. I want him to stay longer. I want to give him a new contract.
“But it’s a difficult position for the club, where we are right now. We had to focus on where the club is at. The fans deserved better than languishing at the bottom.
“But we are moving up now so I have got to start looking at a few people for next year. Against Peterborough he got good game time.
"(He showed) A brilliant attitude about fighting for the team. You want people like that here.”
Holden got his chance against Peterborough from the bench after Mark Davies picked up a knee injury. It was his first appearance in a league game since March 2011, when he turned out in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Holden played 68 minutes of the 1-0 victory, which put Wanderers back within realistic reach of the play-off spots and into the top 10 for the first time since early September.
The midfielder admits he still has plenty of work to do in order to re-establish himself in the first-team pecking order, particularly given the excellent form of Jay Spearing and Darren Pratley.
But with Davies now facing a spell in the treatment room, a gap may well have opened up for the 27-year-old to push his claim.
“I wish it had been under better circumstances because you never want to see a player get injured,” Holden said after the Peterborough game. “I’m familiar with that one myself.
“I hope it’s not too bad for Mark but any time you are called upon you have to get out there and try to put a stamp on the game. Sometimes It’s tough coming on and for the first five minutes I was running around and could not catch up with the ball but after that I thought I settled quite well.”
Holden remains relaxed about his contract, which runs out in the summer, and currently has his focus on securing a more regular starting spot.
“We’ve spoken briefly about it (the contract) and decided that the most important thing was me playing football,” he said.
“Each side is happy with the situation. It isn’t the case where one side is stressed.
“The main focus for me is to play football. I need to build on my performance and there are obviously a lot of things I can improve on and ways I feel I could have contributed but that is only going to come with playing more games, so hopefully that comes for me.”