Two second-half goals from Marvin Sordell set up a fourth-round tie against Everton and long-term absentee Holden cannot wait to "kick on".
The American, who had not played a game since September 2011 due to ongoing knee problems, came on as a 74th-minute substitute in the victory at the Stadium of Light.
On his return, he told the club's official website: "It was great just to be a part of it all again. It's been so long. I've played a few reserve games but nothing compares to being out there with the first team.
"Everyone was encouraging me before, wishing me good luck, and they talked me through the game and made me feel comfortable back in there.
"I was sitting in the hotel reflecting on the last year-and-a-half and how much work I've done and how many days I've spent in the gym. For that to culminate now and being back with the first team, doing what I love, was a special moment for me.
"We're under a new manager now and he's brought in some new philosophies and I really feel that he'll help me move on to another level as a player. I want to kick on and get back in the team and be a regular in the starting XI."