The Football Association has announced that Steve Holland will assist new England Under-21 head coach Gareth Southgate for two upcoming European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

Holland, who is assistant first team coach at Chelsea, will join the coaching team at St. George’s Park as Southgate takes charge for the first time next week for matches with Moldova and Finland.

Speaking about this new work, Holland said:

‘The international break at Chelsea is always a very quiet period as we have so many players away representing their countries and often only three or four players remain at Cobham, so Jose Mourinho was very happy for me to be involved and very supportive.

‘I met Gareth Southgate this week and we spoke about plans for the England Under-21 team and the FA are looking forward with Roy Hodgson and the England senior side. We spoke about the type of player they are looking to select going forwards, the playing style that the FA are looking to apply across all the national teams now and I was very impressed.

‘I think it is an exciting time to be involved as I believe there is a strong will within the FA to try to improve the development of our young players, and I am very excited to be asked to be involved.’

Southgate said: ‘I’m delighted that we will have the input and experience of someone of Steve’s calibre joining us for these two games. He brings a great knowledge of coaching, working with some of the very best young players over a long period of time.

‘I must also thank Jose Mourinho for his support in Steve coming into the set up. To have not only the consent, but also encouragement and backing of Chelsea is very important to me.’

Having previously worked at Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City, Holland moved to Chelsea in August 2009, initially as reserve team manager before becoming assistant first team coach in 2011.

England Under-21s begin their qualification campaign towards Euro 2015 at Reading’s Madejski Stadium on Thursday 5 September, with Moldova the first opponents. They then travel to Finland for the second game on the following Monday. Todd Kane and Nathaniel Chalobah are the Chelsea players in the squad.

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