England v USA preview: Bolton star Stuart Holden is on a double …
Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden has a double reason to beat England tonight – he is carrying the hopes of his native Scotland in the World Cup.
Holden was born in Aberdeen and raised north of the border until his family moved to Texas when he was 10.
The 23-year-old set -iece expert says Wanderers boss Owen Coyle is desperate for him to play a starring role against the English tonight and make Scotland proud.
Holden has battled back to fitness after breaking a leg in a friendly against Holland in March in a tackle by Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong, a challenge he blasted as “reckless” yesterday.
He said: “There’s a bit of light-hearted banter about my Scottish roots and playing for the US against England. The Scots want to see us beat England. having been born in Scotland I know the rivalry and the passion. It’s good, it’s a healthy rivalry. I was a Scotland fan as a kid.
“Coyle is a gaffer who likes to keep the banter and keep the mood light in the locker room. He jokes about it. When I was leaving he said he couldn’t wait to see me step out against England on June 12 and said he’d be rooting for us. it goes beyond that. There’ll be a lot of Scottish fans rooting for the US on June 12.
“He wishes me all the best and there’s a couple of other Bolton players here and it would be great to come up against them at some point as well.”
Holden wants to stay at Bolton next season and sign a year long extension that has been offered. but he admits he feared the worst the day he got injured,
He said: “The day after I got hurt, the Bolton manager called me and told me they were going to pick up the option for the next year and he was delighted with me. It’s always great to have the backing of your manager. When he made it clear they wanted to extend the contract again, it was a no-brainer for me. I love it at the club and the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. It’s on the back-burner while the World Cup goes on, though.
“I was nervous, when I was walking off I was starting to limp and getting sharp pains in my leg. on the way to the hospital when I found out it was fractured, I was pretty down in the dumps for a couple of days until I got all the information together and they told me that I had a broken leg and a sprained knee, but that it was going to be a seven week recovery just in time for a couple of games before coming here.
“I didn’t feel how bad the tackle was until I saw it again on the replay. I felt it was a bit reckless for a friendly. De Jong said it wasn’t on purpose. I don’t believe it was intentional I just believe it was reckless. I was more frustrated than anything. it gave me a big mountain to climb to get fit. But I’m here now and I’ve put all that behind me and I’m feeling good.
“Playing in England and playing against England makes it an especially big game. England are one of the favourites for the tournament. Being around a lot of English guys and a Scottish coaching staff, there’s a lot of talk. It’s a great start to the tournament for us and a good test to see where we really are.”
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