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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Jan 28, 2013

New Holden contract not a priority

Bolton risk losing Stuart Holden on a free transfer with manager Dougie Freedman saying he is in no rush to discuss a new deal for the fit-again midfielder.

Holden will be at Bolton until 2013
Holden's career has been badly disrupted by injury

The USA international is out of contract at the Reebok Stadium in the summer and Freedman believes he should be concentrating on his return to first-team action.

Holden, 27, made his first appearance at home for 22 months, and just the second of his comeback, as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton in the FA Cup.

Freedman said: "He is out of contract in the summer but that's the least of his concerns. He has gone through a career-threatening major knee operation so that's far from his thinking. Just getting back playing football is a delight for him.

"I don't think he needs that sort of pressure from me to sign, or not to sign, a contract. I think he needs all the support he can get to play football. Let's strip it all down and remember the days when he used to play in the streets."

Holden suffered a knee injury in a challenge with Manchester United’s Jonny Evans in March 2011 and made one appearance against Aston Villa in September 2011 before needing further surgery.

He said: "With this injury I just want to get back playing every week and I've got a job on my hands to get back into the team.

"My first and foremost thought is just to be back playing week in week out for Bolton and just having that feeling of playing 90 minutes and winning games and coming off the next day feeling like I’ve played a game. I’m so close to that now that I don’t want to let anything distract me."

Freedman is likely to release some of Wanderers' senior players in the summer, saying: "I think we need to change one or two that have probably been here and done it and move on from there. I do need to get a different mentality in the group, some different dynamics in the group and change the culture a little bit."

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