Pittodrie assistant manager Allan Russell insists working with the England squad at the Euro 2020 finals will not impact on Aberdeen.
As striker coach, the 40-year-old is an integral part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s backroom staff.
He has already played a pivotal role in helping England reach the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018.
Talking for the first time since he arrived at Pittodrie, Russell confirmed he had conversations with both Glass and Southgate regarding the dual role.
At the end of the Premiership season, he will have a week off before reporting for duty with the England squad.
There he will work with world-class stars like Harry Kane (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) and Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) in the bid to hone their lethal goal instincts enough to land Euro glory.
Russell said: “When the season finishes with Aberdeen I will switch to England mode, but I will always have my role at Aberdeen in my mind and how I can help that while I am away.
“It is not a complete switch of focus.
“The same as when I am with Aberdeen, there are certain hours when I look to do England stuff.
“It is part of what I do in my role with Aberdeen and England.”
Russell, who holds a Uefa A coaching licence, was appointed in 2017 by Southgate and tasked with bringing a different dynamic to the attack.
He delivered immediate and high profile results at the 2018 World Cup.
Prior to the finals in Russia, it had been three major finals since England had scored at a set piece, stretching back to the 2010 World Cup and 72 corners.
In 2018, England set a new record for the most set-piece goals by a club, nine, at a World Cup.
The previous best had stood for 52 years – going back to 1966.
England scored 12 times on the way to losing out in the semi-final to Croatia with Kane landing the golden boot for the tournament’s top scorer.
Kane would later praise Russell’s coaching during the World Cup for giving him “an edge”.
Asked if it was important he was allowed to continue the England job while at Pittodrie, he said: “Yes, absolutely.
“That was made clear from the outset and there are plenty of examples of other coaches who do both around Europe.
“It wasn’t an issue and I knew it wouldn’t be an issue with England or Aberdeen.”
England will play all three of their group D games at Wembley – against Scotland, Czech Republic and Croatia.
With such a major tournament, on home soil, did he discuss with Southgate the added work-load of taking on a full-time assistant role at Aberdeen under Glass?
Russell said: “Yes I discussed the role at Aberdeen with him, absolutely.
“There is always clarity when it comes to things and I had those discussions with Gareth and Stephen.”
A week after the Premiership season ends with an away clash at Rangers on May 15, Russell will meet up with the England squad a their £105 million St George’s Park training complex base in Burton upon Trent.
With England, Russell will be working with players rated in the tens of millions of pounds.
He is quick to underline, however, that he is also working with international players at Pittodrie.
Regardless of the level or value of player, he insists the fundamentals of coaching are the same.
He said: “I think as a coach you have principles and process with things.
“it doesn’t change just because the other players are playing at a higher level.
“You treat them the same and your messages are the same.
“There are a lot of similarities.”
Russell and Glass formed a friendship during their time playing together at Carolina Railhawks in the United States.
It was while in the States, where he also played for Orange County Blues FC, that Russell pinpointed the importance and prevalence of positional specialist coaching in sports such as American Football and basketball.
Using that knowledge, he subsequently set up Superior Striker coaching, where he worked with top Premier League footballers.
— Superior Striker (@SuperiorStriker) April 9, 2021
So what was the journey from one-to-one coaching to working with world class stars such as Kane, Sterling and Rashford at the World Cup and Euros?
Russell explained: “There are a lot of big players who I was working with individually and it wasn’t hidden that they were scoring more goals.
“People were talking about the methods I came up with and the way I was working with players caught the attention of Gareth.
“He’s a very forward-thinking coach and he wanted to introduce the specialist coach into the England team.
“It was good timing for myself working with those players to them scoring goals and Gareth asking me to get involved.
“You can look on my Instagram and see who I’ve worked with.
“A lot of them are private, so I won’t name certain names, but there are players who it was noted I worked with.
“My first client was Andre Gray, who was at Burnley at the time and he earned a move to Watford.
“I’ve worked with England internationals and foreign players at certain periods.”
While in the United States, Russell noticed the onus placed on specialist coaches to bring those “fine margins” which could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Such was his passion for those coaching methods he retired from playing early to focus on delivering them.
It was the first start on the route to a World Cup semi-final with England and the Euro 2020 finals this summer.
Aberdeen supporters will be excited at the prospect of his training methods bringing major improvements to the Dons.
He said: “I took a lot from the specialist side of the game in America when it comes to American Football and other sports over there.
“Their attention to detail is clear in those areas and I was passionate about going another route instead of the traditional group a player would normally go in when he retires.
“I retired early and put my time and effort into that.
“It was beginning to be successful in America when I made the decision to take it back to the UK and take my chances.
“Every club craves the fine margins it takes to win games, especially at the highest level.
“Clubs have different budgets, but some can afford to bring specialist people in and if it is done properly it is a big advantage.
“It’s a modern part of the game, but I’m not sure it is totally brand new.
“It would have been called something else in the past, but the specialist side of the game is definitely becoming a big part at the highest level.”
⚽️ Could Dylan McGeouch keep the incoming Scott Brown out of the @AberdeenFC team?
🔴 Is Connor McLennan's future at right-back?
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) May 4, 2021