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‘Fantastic’, ‘Wasn’t expecting to see this’ – Many Stoke fans react as club announces arrival of ex-Championship manager

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Former Bristol City boss Dean Holden has joined Stoke City as their new assistant manager, the club have confirmed.

The departure of Michael O’Neill’s number two Billy McKinlay was announced yesterday, the Scotsman having been there from the start of his reign in November 2019, but the 51-year-old left the Bet365 Stadium by mutual consent.

And the club have wasted no time in finding McKinlay’s successor by bringing in a man who was recently the manager of a Championship club.

Holden has spent more time in his career as an assistant, becoming Lee Johnson’s right-hand man at Oldham in 2014 before taking the managerial role briefly, and then he followed Johnson to Bristol City in 2016.

He remained in that role until 2020, when Johnson was sacked and Holden was put in temporary charge of the senior setup – something that became permanent before the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

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Holden got off to a good start this season but results quickly spiralled as the Robins suffered from an injury crisis, and in February Holden was sacked after just six months in the job.

He’s found his way back into a Championship job quickly though, with O’Neill referencing his work with young players as a key factor to appointing him as his new right-hand man.

Stoke fans seem happy with the appointment – let’s take a look at their reaction.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Fantastic’, ‘Wasn’t expecting to see this’ – Many Stoke fans react as club announces arrival of ex-Championship manager

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