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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News »  Youngster Rob banks on Holding on to a first-team spot at Wanderers

Youngster Rob banks on Holding on to a first-team spot at Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Youngster Rob Holding is determined to stay in Neil Lennon's first-team thoughts and believes he can do just that with the help of some older friends.

The 20-year-old has played in successive matches in the back line for Lennon – at Hull and Charlton – and is now eyeing a home league debut for the Whites against Fulham tomorrow.

And while he has taken his chance to shine in recent weeks, he admits he will only stay in the team if he maintains a consistent level of performance – something he says can be achieved with the help of the more senior players around him.

"All of the lads are great to be around and you can learn loads from them," Holding told the club.

"When you’ve got the other lads at the back with you, they’re experienced players and they just talk you through it.

"Ben (Amos) is a great guy – we spend a fair bit of time together when we’re in the hotel and having been at Manchester United and played at the highest level he knows exactly what he’s talking about.

"Playing with Emile too is a real pleasure – he’s somebody who’s been there, done it all and got the T-shirt but he’s just a great guy to have around the place who is easy to talk to.

"As one of the younger lads, you’re just looking to soak up everything you can and having these kind of players around can only help."

While having senior players around is a help for Holding, he also says familiar faces from his time in the academy ranks is a big plus too.

The young Lancastrian is the fifth member of the Class of 2013 Under-18s side to make his senior bow for the Whites.

Along with Zach Clough, Tom Walker and the now departed duo of Tom Youngs and Chris Lester, Holding was in the starting line-up for David Lee and Tony Kelly's team that thumped Tottenham 8-4 at White Hart Lane in the FA Youth Cup run to the quarter-finals that year.

Another, Niall Maher, made his senior bow out on loan at Blackpool last season.

And he says it is down to Neil Lennon's trust in youth that the young players get their opportunity.

Holding said: "It’s nice at the moment that there’s a good group of us who have come through the ranks together – there’s myself, Tom Walker, Niall Maher and, of course, Zach Clough.

"It’s just nice to have them around and that we’re all in it together now.

"Being a product of the academy it’s something that will always stay with you no matter where you go throughout your career.

"The club is engrained into you and you’ll always care because they helped to make you who you are.

"There’s been some times when you do wonder if that chance will ever come but the manager has been fantastic since he arrived, especially with the younger lads and now I feel as though anything is possible for me.

"Right now, I know I’m in a position where I’ve taken my opportunity to prove myself but ultimately it’s down to the gaffer to decide what he wants from me.

"Playing in the Championship is tough – it can be a very unforgiving league.

"All I can do is carry on doing what I am and see where it takes me."



Ivan Campo
Ivan Campo

I'm pleased for the lad, he played really well against Charlton and deserves to be a starter from now until the end of the season unless he suffers a really big drop in form imo.

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