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Dougie Freedman praises Stu Holden performance

When all was said and done, Stu Holden had put in just over an hour of play on the field. It was about the same amount of time that he played a few weeks ago in a closed-door match against Wigan. This time, Holden was on display and according to people at the ground and manager Dougie Freedman, Holden looked good.

Speaking in the Bolton News, Dougie shared his take:

"It was great to see him out there. To get 65 minutes, we are very pleased, and a very good 65 minutes at that. I thought he was very influential in the game as well.

"Having been out for so long but to be involved in most of the match is very encouraging and also very pleasing for Stuart."

Dougie also warned the fans to not expect too much right away as Holden has been out for a long, long time. However, the signs from training have been encouraging:

"We have got to remember that because he's been out for so long, we have to put Stuart first and foremost. He has got to be given time and he has been given that. And he has to be given a pat on the back as well.

"All round it was a very pleasing night. We have put him into some very tough training sessions. We put him under a lot of pressure and stress.

"There are different ways of treating people. We have put him in losing teams to see how he reacts; we've put him in overload teams and young teams to see how he reacts.

"But he has come through that because that's the type of guy he is. We are training Stuart with every possible way and he is coming through the tests with flying colours."

Finally, Freedman shared his praise for Bolton's medical staff. Despite the fact that Holden spent the majority of his rehabilitation Stateside, Bolton's medical team was in constant contact with him and were very involved in his progress:

"They have been fantastic in working with him. I have only been here a few months and I can see they are a very good medical staff.

"To bring Stuart back from such a long lay-off and to keep him at a good fitness level before he hits the grass is very crucial. He has not far to go."