The Football Association has tonight (Saturday) announced Steve Holland will work with the England Under-21 side for the rest of the European Championship qualification campaign.
Holland assisted England Under-21 head coach Gareth Southgate for two games earlier this month, and will continue in that role as the team aim for the finals in the Czech Republic in the summer of 2015.
The Chelsea assistant coach said: ‘Originally the arrangement was for the Moldova and the Finland games but to be asked to be involved until the end of the campaign is something I am very happy about.
‘I enjoyed working with Gareth. He is a good guy and a very intelligent guy regarding football and I think we work well together.
‘I am grateful to Jose Mourinho for being so supportive,’ Holland added.
‘Chelsea is my job and this is something extra and had Jose had any doubts I wouldn’t do it but as he pointed out, international breaks at Chelsea are quiet periods because of our players playing all around the world. We are all happy it won’t affect my job here and it is something I am looking forward to.
‘I was never good enough as a player to represent my country and I had never experienced standing there listening to the national anthem before a game until this month, and it was a special moment. To be asked to coach for your country is the next best thing.’
With four points won from the two fixtures earlier in the month, England Under-21s play away to San Marino and at home to Lithuania at Ipswich’s Portman Road in October, before two more qualifiers in November and one in March.
Southgate said: ‘I was delighted that Steve was able to join us for our first two qualification games and his positive impact on the training ground was clear to see from day one, as I knew it would be given his wealth of experience and first-rate talents as a coach.
‘Clearly, therefore, I am thrilled that Steve will be staying with us for the remainder of the campaign and I reiterate my thanks to Jose Mourinho and Chelsea Football Club for their continued support.
‘Steve shares my belief in giving young players the confidence to express their talents and play the game in the right way, which is something the FA are looking to apply across our national teams.
‘I have no doubt that by enabling our best young players at Under-21 level to benefit from Steve’s input over a sustained period such as this can only be a positive experience during this exciting time.’
Having previously worked at Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City, Holland joined Chelsea in August 2009, initially as reserve team manager before becoming assistant first team coach in 2011.