Owen Coyle, the manager of Bolton Wanderers, says American Stuart Holden, who has earned a starting job in his first full season at the English club, has been "magnificent" and shouldn't beat himself up for his role on the goal that earned Manchester United a 2-2 tie in Sunday's match at the Reebok Stadium.
“Stuart is beating himself up a little bit because he should have picked Michael Owen up for the equalizer, even though he was blocked off,” the manager explained. “That’s credit to Manchester United and their physicality. He’s feeling a little hard done by because of that, but I can’t complain too much because Stuart has been magnificent for me since day one.”
This is the Scottish-born Holden's second stint in England. He joined Sunderland from Clemson University but was released after being seriously injured in attack outside a Newcastle nightclub. He joined Bolton as a free agent from the Houston Dynamo after a move to Burnley fell through when Coyle left in mid-season. On Wednesday the 25-year-old agreed to a contract through the 2012-13 season. His current contract ran out at the end of this season.
“After picking him up for nothing, having had a few setbacks in his career, it’s great to see him show his qualities,” Coyle said of Holden, who suffered a broken leg from a foul by Nigel de Jong during a March 3 the Netherlands-USA friendly. “He wants to stay on the training pitch after every session and he’s driving himself on to improve. There’s no doubt he’s doing that. The energy he shows, the level of his play, fans are reacting to that. We think the world of him, and the way he’s playing at the moment is terrific for the club.”