By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Stockport County defender Euan Holden believes they can beat any team in the league – including today’s opponents, promotion chasing Wrexham.
The 24-year-old points to the recent game against Kidderminster Harriers, which County won 2-1 despite Harriers sitting in the play offs with County at the wrong end of the table.
Before last week’s injury time (plus) defeat to York City, County had gone on a four game unbeaten run picking up six points.
Euan said: “I like to think we can beat any team in the league. That’s the belief the gaffer is trying to instil in the lads. We’ve shown against York and Kidderminster we can give the teams at the top a proper game.”
The unbeaten run came to a stop last weekend as County lost on the road 2-1 to York, with the winner being scored six minutes into injury by Matty Blinkhorn, despite only five minutes of extra time being signalled by the fourth official.
“Immediately after the game all the lads’ heads were down. We feel we should’ve got at least a point from the game – we did enough to win it – I think we had the chances to win the game.”
“The gaffer gave us a lot of encouragement after the game and we’ve worked hard in training this week.”
County had led the game through loan signing Daniel L Rowe, who hit his fourth goal since signing from Fleetwood Town. Jamie Reed equalised in the 84th minute before the heartbreaking winner went in.
Holden insists Wrexham – who beat County resoundingly 4-0 in North Wales earlier this season – are there for the taking.
“We need to go for Wrexham. Hopefully we can get something out of them.”
Whatever line up James Gannon picks for the Wrexham game, he will be without two key players in the form of defensive pair Joe Connor and captain Danny O’Donnell, who were both injured in the York match, with Holden acknowledging that there will have to be tactical changes because of this.
Gannon’s defensive options have been boosted by the return of Jordan Rose to the club. Rose played for County last season and was voted Young Player of the Season before being released along with the majority of the squad in the summer.
Rose has joined on non contract terms and is likely to go straight into the squad for today’s game.
Holden – whose brother Stuart plays for Bolton Wanderers – has travelled a lot and this is his first season in British football despite being born in Scotland.
As a youngster, the Holdens moved to the USA, before Euan moved to Denmark to play for Velje BK in 2010. Despite having trials at numerous English clubs the following summer, he returned to Denmark to play for FC Hjorring. He impressed former Hatters manager Dietmar Hamann last summer and signed for County, for whom he has now made 28 league appearances.
“I think I’ve improved as a player since I got here. I wanted to come here, get some games under my belt and learn more about the game. I think I’ve done that and improved as a player.”
Holden is well aware that County fans have endured a miserable few seasons – and has a message for them.
“Keep believing in us. I know it’s frustrating sometimes, but believe me – the players don’t enjoy losing any more than the fans do.”
“We’re working hard to get more points on the board. We want to bring happiness back to Edgeley Park – we want to make it a fortress.”
In other club news, popular midfield pairing Matty Mainwairing and Paul Turnbull have agreed extensions to their loan deals at the club, both will stay for another month. Sam Sheridan has returned from loan at Southport.
County host Wrexham today at 3pm. Tickets are available at the ground or via www.stockportcounty.com
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