Dean Holden: Bristol City confirm head coach appointment

Dean Holden
Dean Holden (centre) led Bristol City to wins over Hull and Middlesbrough during his spell in interim charge at the end of the season

Championship club Bristol City have appointed Dean Holden as head coach.

The 40-year-old was previously assistant to Lee Johnson, who was sacked in July after a four-and-a-half-year spell in charge at Ashton Gate.

Holden took control on an interim basis for the final five games of the Championship season, from which City took eight points to finish 12th.

"I am honoured to take on the role of head coach - it's a very proud moment for me and my family," he said.

He has signed a rolling 12-month contract and will be assisted by coaches Keith Downing and Paul Simpson, who have recently taken charge of the England Under-19 and Under-20 squads respectively.

Last month, media reports linked both Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and former Brighton boss Chris Hughton with the Bristol City post.

And in the days after Johnson's departure, owner Steve Lansdown said in an interview with Talksport that he wanted to "bring a breath of fresh air into the club" to help them "take the next step".

"I understand [the criticism of the appointment]. I'm a mad passionate football fan myself and the pressure is on from day one," Holden told BBC Radio Bristol.

"There's been talk about big names.

"All I would say to our supporters is; judge me in the job I'm going to do.

"I want to say we will go into every game wanting to win with attacking and exciting football. That's what fans want."

The Robins have been in the mix for a Championship play-off spot in each of the past three seasons, but fell short on each occasion.

Under Johnson, they reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup in 2017-18 by famously beating Manchester United with an added-time goal by Korey Smith, who was released on Sunday.

As a player, Holden appeared for several clubs including Bolton, Oldham, Shrewsbury and Walsall.

Chief executive Mark Ashton said he had been chosen after "a rigorous recruitment process".

"Dean has a clear vision of how he wants to take us forward and we believe, along with the addition of Keith and Paul, we will have a coaching team that can deliver that," he added.

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