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Dean Holden Relishes the Challenge as New Manager of Charlton Athletic

Dean Holden has vowed to give the gift of confidence to his Charlton Athletic players as he faces up to the next challenge of his managerial career.

The 43-year-old Football Careers client has taken over the reins following the departure of previous boss Ben Garner.

Dean, who racked up 427 professional games at the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Falkirk before moving into the coaching world, knows he has a tough mission ahead but it is one he is relishing. He stressed:

“It’s a fantastic club with a great history, steeped in tradition. I remember the team in the Premier League as I was growing up watching it. This is a brilliant club that is in a position at the moment that we don’t want it to be in.

“My job is to come in and get us away from that danger zone and get us looking higher up the table. I look at the youngsters coming through from the Academy and the players we have in the squad and not everything is broken here.”

Holden’s last role was as an assistant to highly respected Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill at Stoke City. Dean also worked with current Hibernian boss Lee Johnson at Bristol City before landing the top job there. And he revealed:

“I wanted to be a no1 again because I Ioved it so much at Bristol City. I have been an assistant coach and a reserve team manager too but I enjoy setting the environment every day.

“I want people in here to have each other’s back and I want to get the culture right. I know what it takes for fans to back us and they need to see that commitment on the pitch.

“A thriving football club should be engaging the fans, we need to leave everything out there and get the fans behind us again. It’s all set up for this club to push on but we have to accept where we are and fight hard to make sure we get away from that danger zone.

“I want to see attacking intent and see us play with real purpose now and I want to see real energy.”

After Charlton’s victory on penalties sent Brighton out of the Carabao Cup, the team will face Manchester United in the quarter-final on 10th January. Charlton is the only non-Premier league team still standing in the competition. Before that, Holden’s side will be looking for points in League One games against Portsmouth and Lincoln City. 

Charlton is a club seeking stability under Danish owner Thomas Sandgaard with first Johnnie Jackson then Nigel Adkins departing the hotseat before Garner’s brief tenure. The nature of modern management has seen three managers in the last 21 months at the club but Dean is not daunted by what lies ahead. He reasoned:

“We have to give the players belief, we beat Plymouth who are top of the table 5-1 earlier this season. The consistency has not been there which is why we are where we are.

“They need to know we have confidence in them, I want us to play on the front foot a little more both with and without the ball. There’s work to be done on the training ground but I can’t wait to get started.”

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