STUART Holden is determined to stay in the team after bursting on to the Wanderers scene.

The US international impressed in his first two outings since joining the club on a short-term deal in January and is desperate to hang on to his shirt for this Saturday’s trip to Upton Park against relegation rivals West Ham.

The former Houston Dynamo midfielder capitalised on his chance in a much-chaged side fielded against Spurs in the Carling Cup last Wednesday night to play a major role in the 1-0 victory over Wolves at the weekend.

And now he has his feet under the first-team table, Holden is focused on remaining in Owen Coyle’s plans for the remainder of the campaign.

“I was a little bit surprised when the manager said I was going to play against Wolves,” he said. “But my goal when I played against Tottenham in the cup was to leave nothing on the field.

“I wanted to put the kind of effort in that I knew I had in me, so I could really show the manager what I could do. Obviously he saw that I could help the team against Wolves and we came away with a 1-0 victory, which was a huge result for us.”

Wanderers sit two points clear of the bottom three heading into the midweek international break, during which Holden is hoping to feature for the US in their World Cup warm-up game in Holland. He expects to return to a buoyant Reebok after a result that lightened the mood around the club.

“It has given everyone a lift,” said the midfielder. “Everyone came into the dressing room shaking hands and there was a good buzz. Now we need to keep it going until Saturday at West Ham.”

Holden admits the speed of Premier League football will take some getting used to after four years as a professional in the MLS.

“It’s a lot quicker pace,” he said. “Everyone really gets stuck in and is really commited here. You get pushed on by the fans as well, so when you feel your legs getting tired, you get that extra lift. The adrenaline keeps pumping and you feel you can go on.

“Having watched the Premier League for a number of years I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, so I have been given that chance and I don’t want to let anyone down.”

Wanderers have several players on international duty, with Jack Wilshere and Fabrice Muamba in action on Wednesday for England’s Under-21s against Greece in a European Championship qualifier. Sam Ricketts is doubtful for Wales’ friendly against Sweden at Swansea, where Johan Elmander will be in action.

Vladimir Weiss has travelled to Slovakia where he will look to earn his seventh cap against Norway, while Tamir Cohen is also in the Israel squad bound for Romania and Gretar Steinsson should feature for Iceland in Cyprus.