Stu Holden puts in another hour-long shift for Sheffield Wednesday

Bob Levey

While contract talks between Stu Holden and Bolton Wanderers are still ongoing, the American midfielder continues working on a return to full fitness and full form. Stu has been on loan with Sheffield Wednesday for just over the last week and has played in two of three possible matches.

The Owls are unbeaten in their last three matches and have won both of the games that Stu Holden has started in. The first time around, they beat Barnsley 2-1 at home and this time, it was a hard-fought 3-2 win against Blackburn Rovers. Holden went 62 minutes against Barnsley and 59 against Blackburn with his performance pushing Bolton's rivals into the bottom three.

Against Rovers, Stu was on corner duty and put in a number of teasing balls into the box. Unfortunately, he could not affect proceedings directly. Holden did manage to take shots and play the ball in but it was to no avail. Still, that didn't stop Stu from running box-to-box as he tends to do and he did manage to put in a number of challenges, as well as take some himself.

Overall, Holden still looks like he is lacking a fair bit of match fitness, which is of course understandable given the amount of time he was out. If Stu was fully fit, he would be fighting for a starting place in a Bolton Wanderers shirt rather than being sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.

Owls manager Dave Jones praised Holden's initiative ahead of the Blackburn match:

"Stuart grew into the game; it took him a bit longer but the ball was bouncing all over the place.

"He's been out a long time; he has that American attitude: he loves sport and wants to be successful."

Wednesday travel to Millwall tomorrow before facing an away fixture at Leeds United on Saturday. Whether Stu will play again so soon after his last match remains to be seen.

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