Dean Holden – Bristol city confirm head show appointment

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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.

About Holden:

Dean Holden: Bristol City confirm head coach appointment

About Bristol
Bristol ( (listen)) is a city and county in South West England with a population of 463,400. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city lies between Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.
Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, and around the beginning of the 11th century, the settlement was known as Brycgstow (Old English “the place at the bridge”). Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was historically divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373 when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities, after London, in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution.
Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas. The Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock.
Bristol’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK; the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium. It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, and to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32); rail, via Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations; and Bristol Airport.
One of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world’s top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides. The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the EU’s European Green Capital Award in 2015.

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.

Dean Holden: Bristol City confirm head coach appointment

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.