Bristol City appoint Dean Holden as their new manager

Bristol City appoint Dean Holden as their new manager and lure Paul Simpson and Keith Downing from their roles with England youth sides to work alongside him

  • Dean Holden has been appointed as the new manager of Bristol City
  • Holden finished the season as interim boss after the departure of Lee Johnson
  • Keith Downing and Paul Simpson have let the England youth setup to assist him 

Bristol City have appointed Dean Holden as their new head coach.

Holden had been placed in caretaker charge for the final five games of the Championship season following the dismissal of Lee Johnson.

The 40-year-old will be assisted by Keith Downing and Paul Simpson, who will join City from their roles in the England youth setup. 

Bristol City have named Dean Holden as their head coach after he impressed as interim boss

Downing oversaw England Under-19s’ success at the European Championship in 2017, while Simpson helped England to win the Under-20 World Cup in the same year.

In addition, Downing has experience of managing Cheltenham and being assistant boss at West Brom.

Simpson previously managed Preston, Shrewsbury and Stockport.  

During his spell as interim boss Holden won two, drew two and lost one of his five games in charge. 

Holden told the club’s official website: ‘I am honoured to take on the role of head coach – it’s a very proud moment for me and my family. I’m excited about this opportunity and I’m delighted that the Board have selected me.

‘I want to say we will go into every game wanting to win with attacking and exciting football. That’s what fans want. I know what it’s like to be a supporter. I love that our supporters care and are so passionate. I know what that’s like – it’s important to them and rightly so. I spent all my money as a kid following my team around the country home and away.

‘What you see is what you get with me. I’ll be honest with the players, staff and the fans and I’ll graft as hard as I can to bring success to this football club.’

Keith Downing, who won the Under-19 European Championship with England in 2017, will be one of Holden’s assistants

Peter Simpson, the coach as England won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017, is also part of City’s coaching staff

City chief executive Mark Ashton praised Holden and said: ‘We are delighted to announce Dean as Bristol City’s head coach. We undertook a rigorous recruitment process and, while that rightly took time because of how important it was, we believe we have made the correct decisions about the head coach and the coaching structure.’

‘Dean has a clear vision of how he wants to take us forward and we believe that, along with the addition of Keith and Paul, we will have a coaching team that can deliver that vision. Everyone involved with the club should be excited about this next chapter for Bristol City.’

Holden commenced his coaching career in 2014 when he became assistant manager at Oldham, with whom he later had a spell as manager.

In March 2016 Holden became assistant manager of Walsall and he made the switch to City in November that year as he became Johnson’s assistant. 

City finished in 12th place in the Championship in 2019-20. 

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