Why Blackpool boss Neil Critchley will have an extra reason to celebrate should England beat Italy in the Euro 2020 final

Neil Critchley is hoping his old mentor and boss Steve Holland can help England bring it home at Wembley tonight.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 8:00 am

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Blackpool’s head coach worked under England’s assistant manager during their time working together at Crewe Alexandra.

Holland, who has also previously worked at Chelsea, appears to be an influential figure inside the Three Lions camp, often being the go-to man for advice on the touchline for boss Gareth Southgate.

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Should England get the job done against Italy in the Euro 2020 final tonight, Critchley admits he’ll have an extra-special reason to celebrate given his personal relationship with Holland.

“I’m delighted with how England have done,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“I’m a highly passionate football supporter and I get right behind England when they play, I think everyone does.

“It’s just the shot in the arm this country needed, the feelgood factor around the country at the moment is unbelievable and I can’t wait for the final on Sunday night.

Neil Critchley on the touchline during Blackpool's pre-season friendly against Southport yesterday

“I’m willing that the players go and do it for themselves and for the country.

“I hope Gareth, Steve and the players do it for England because to get to the first major final in 55 years is a massive achievement.

“But if they can go one step further, it will be even better and we might all get a day off on Monday.”

Critchley added: “With Steve Holland being there, he was my old youth team manager and academy manager when I was coming through as a young coach at Crewe, so obviously from a personal aspect I hope he does it because he deserves it because he’s a fantastic coach and a fantastic man.

“Steve and Gareth make a great partnership and I think you can see that when you watch the games.

“Gareth obviously trusts Steve complicitly and they have a lot of communication together through the game.

“He’s obviously worked with him at Under-21 level and kept him with him when he stepped up to the senior job. The staff around you, as I know, is really important. That trust is huge.”

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