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I've no fear of the axe, says Bury midfielder Euan Holden
EUAN Holden has welcomed the healthy competition for places in the Bury squad after a raft of signings put his position in the starting line-up under threat.
The American utility player has been moulded into a midfield work- horse by manager Kevin Blackwell since arriving at Gigg Lane on non-contract terms in February.
But despite being rewarded with a spot in the first-team for the opening three matches, the writing looked to be on the wall for Holden after Blackwell highlighted his short-comings following the 3-2 win over Crewe in the Capital One Cup.
The Bury boss said he was well aware of his short-comings when it came to passing and possession and promptly drafted in midfield playmaker Jordan Sinnott on loan from Huddersfield Town.
But Holden views the challenge as a positive development.
“I’m honoured to have the confidence of the gaffer to start in the last three games but, at the same time, he has said we have that much quality in the squad and on the bench that it is our shirt to lose,” admitted the midfielder.
“We have quite a few midfielders and a lot of good players in many of the positions, but no-one has taken it as a competition against each other.
“It’s more friendly. We are all pushing each other on and it makes you work that bit harder because you want to keep the jersey or work hard if you are not playing to get the jersey, so I think it is hard for everyone.
“With the nod to start the game I have just tried to give everything I’ve got and hopefully I can keep playing and we can start winning.”
There were a few raised eyebrows when the 25-year-old brother of Wanderers midfielder Stuart Holden was one of only a handful of players from last season to return to Gigg Lane.
He made his first and only start in the last game of the relegation campaign, but says Blackwell had invested a lot of time on him on the training pitch.
Considering he arrived as a left-back with only 34 games under his belt for non-league Stockport County, it is clear the Bury boss has seen something in his attitude and willingness to work that stood out.
And now Holden is eager to repay the faith shown in him.
“Centre midfield is a role I played a lot, predominantly when I was younger, but I have been moved round a lot since,” he said.
“I have worked a lot with the gaffer though and he has spent extra time on me in the position and I think it is one I have grown into and I am capable of doing well at.
“I’m enjoying it, but obviously it would be a lot nicer if we had some more wins to show for it.”
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