Football

Southgate: Make England a world-class team

Southgate has high hopes for new assistant Holland

Gareth Southgate has backed his new assistant manager Steve Holland to make an impact with the England team.

Holland has been confirmed as Southgate's assistant, juggling his England role with Chelsea commitments until leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer.

The 46-year-old will join the Football Association full-time at the end of the Premier League season, when he will relinquish his post as Chelsea's assistant first-team coach.

"I am delighted to have Steve as my assistant manager," said Southgate on Wednesday.

"We have worked very closely for three years and I have the utmost respect for the way he works, his professionalism and the detail of his preparations.

"Our aim at the start was to encourage a young England team to play in a certain style and to develop a winning mentality; We certainly got a long way down the road to doing that with the Under-21s.

"The challenge with the seniors is a greater one, but Steve's experience of working with elite players and coaches at Chelsea means he knows what a world-class team need to look like."

The FA's compromise deal with Chelsea to prise Holland away from Stamford Bridge allows Southgate his wish to continue the partnership with his former U-21s sidekick.

If we want to be successful then we have to employ the best people and, for me, Steve is the best.England manager Gareth Southgate on assistant manager Steve Holland

Holland joined Chelsea's backroom staff in 2009 and has remained a constant at Stamford Bridge since.

HIGHLY REGARDED

The former Derby trainee went into coaching aged 22 and has risen to a level of prominence where Chelsea regarded him as a club appointment - whose presence would not be altered by any changes of manager.

Holland even stood in as caretaker manager at Chelsea in late 2015 after the sacking of Jose Mourinho, before Guus Hiddink took on an interim role.

Now Chelsea have handed Holland the chance to go full-time with England, leaving Southgate to praise the Premier League club's handling of a delicate situation.

"I'd like to thank Chelsea for allowing Steve to join up with us over the last three years," said Southgate.

"It's great that Steve is able to work with us on the March camp, but getting him on a full-time basis is very important and I was more than prepared to wait until May for that to happen.

"If we want to be successful then we have to employ the best people and, for me, Steve is the best." - PA SPORT

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