On a day of heartbreak and elation tied into the relegation and promotion sweepstakes of English soccer, Stuart Holden’s Bolton finished today on the wrong side of that emotion ledger.
Holden was on the bench but unused as Bolton and Blackpool drew, 2-2.
Bolton finished alongside Leicester with 68 points but was way behind its English Championship rival in goal difference. So Leicester – the side near and dear to NBC colleague Arlo White – grabbed the playoff spot while Bolton is left to plan for next year’s reach to regain English Premier League status.
So beyond whatever post-season training Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman has in mind, Holden is done until he gets into Jurgen Klinsmann’s camp in a little over two weeks.
It also means Holden, who has committed to Bolton, will remain in England’s second tier for the foreseeable future. Here’s what Freedman said about Saturday and where things stand for his club in the bigger picture:
At one moment it appeared that a draw might do it, though we set out to win the game. It was all about us today, unfortunately we’ve come up just a little bit short. I couldn’t have asked for nothing more from my players.“We’ve been on a fantastic run of late and can take pride from what we have been doing both on and off the field in the last three months. Yes, we’re disappointed now but we are very optimistic moving forward. We’re integrating young players into our team and are building something special going forward.“We’ve put lots of plans in place that will stand this club in good stead for the future. … It’s no good thinking what might have been. We’ve got to look forward. I’m looking to make one or two changes that will help see us move up the league next season. Our targets have been identified and we’ve already been planning for next season.”