Southgate ranks up there with Mourinho, says England assistant Holland

The Three Lions coach has worked with some big names in the past, including Antonio Conte and Rafa Benitez, but is a big fan of his current colleague

England boss Gareth Southgate is as good a coach as the likes of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea tactician Antonio Conte, says Steve Holland.

The man currently steering the Three Lions through World Cup 2018 campaign is relatively inexperienced when it comes to life in the dugout at the very highest level.

He did spend three years in charge of Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2009 and a similar amount of time with the England U21 side prior to landing the top post, but he is still learning on the job.

Southgate is, however, being backed to be a resounding success, with his assistant manager of the opinion that the 47-year-old boasts many of the qualities which have delivered silverware aplenty to some of the biggest names in the game.

Holland, who spent six years as a first-team coach at Chelsea prior to linking up with England, told reporters in Russia: "Gareth ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I've worked with tick.

"I worked with Mourinho, I worked with [Carlo] Ancelotti, I worked with [Rafa] Benitez, was an incredible environment.

"All of the managers I worked for had different qualities, different strengths and different weaknesses, but they were all the same in that they were totally single-minded. Very, very clear on how they wanted things to be done.

"Gareth is very clear on what he wants and has been right from the start."

Southgate’s ambition helped to lure Holland away from Stamford Bridge, with a stable position given up in order to join the international ranks.

He maintains that it was an easy decision to link up with England, despite having enjoyed considerable success with a club side that savoured domestic and European triumphs during his time on the touchline.

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Holland, speaking ahead of a crunch clash with Panama on Sunday, added: "I loved working for Chelsea. It's the most exciting club in the world, never a dull moment.

"In the six years I worked with the first team, I experienced a World Club Championship final, a Champions League final, a Europa League final, an FA Cup final, a Capital One Cup final, two successful Premier League title run-ins.

"Why did I leave? Because of this. To be at a World Cup with England, wow."