Pittodrie boss Stephen Glass insists assistant Allan Russell’s work with England at Euro 2020 will not impact Aberdeen, even if he misses the start of pre-season training.
The 40-year-old will be part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s back-room staff at the finals this summer.
As striker coach to the England squad Russell will work with centre–forwards including Harry Kane (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) and Marcus Rashford (Manchester City).
Glass confirmed Russell will be with the England squad, who reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, for the entirety of their stay in the Euros.
Should Aberdeen secure a point at Livingston on Saturday they will confirm qualification to the Uefa Conference League at the second qualifying stage with the the opening tie on Thursday July 22.
Glass said: “I think Allan goes away late May, ahead of their camp for the Euros.
“Then he’ll be away as long as England are in the Euros.
‘It might touch the start of pre-season but it won’t interfere with his Aberdeen work here.
“Obviously I am able to speak to him, but there is a focus from him required when he is away with England.
“We’ll be able to do the bulk of the work before he goes.”
Russell and the English squad will be based at the £105m St George’s Park training complex in Burton upon Trent.
England will play all three of their group D games at Wembley.
A showdown with Croatia, who knocked them out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage three years ago, opens England’s campaign on Sunday June 13.
England then face Scotland on Friday June 18 in a much anticipated showdown with the Scots competing in a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.
England’s final group game is against Czech Republic on Tuesday June 22.
Glass said: “‘I think it’s important there is a switch-off time, anyway.
“In Allan’s switch-off time, he chooses to go and do a massive job with England, which is important to him.
“He’s important to England as well.
“Gareth values what Allan brings and wants to keep that going.”
Russell, who holds a Uefa A coaching licence, was appointed by England boss Southgate in 2017 and tasked with bringing a different dynamic to the attack.
During his time playing and coaching with Carolina Railhawks and Orange County Blues FC in the United States Russell realized the importance and prevalence of positional specialist coaching and pr-worked set piece moves in other sports such as the NFL and basketball.
Russell integrated that into his football coaching.
He brought that to the England squad with immediate results at the World Cup in 2018 where Kane secured the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top striker.
Kane hailed Russell’s coaching during the World Cup for giving him ‘an edge’.
Under the guidance of Russell, who also runs ‘Superior Striker’ coaching, England excelled at set-pieces in the World Cup.
Prior to the 2018 tournament England had failed to score from a total of 72 corners at a major finals stretching back to the World Cup in 2010.
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.
Of England’s goals at the World Cup in 2018 75% of the 12 in total came from set-pieces – be it free-kicks, corners or penalties.
— Superior Striker (@SuperiorStriker) April 9, 2021
Having a coach with that pedigree at Pittodrie will surely help improve Aberdeen’s goal return going forward after a season of struggling in attack.
Aberdeen have no strikers signed for next season as Florian Kamberi (St Gallen), Fraser Hornby (Stade de Reims) and Callum Hendry (St Johnstone) are all on loan deals set to expire at the end of the campaign.
Striker Bruce Anderson, currently on loan at Hamilton, is out of contract at the end of the season although it is understood Glass is keen to resign the 22-year-old.
Russell will have a new Aberdeen strike force to mold when he returns from the Euro 2020 finals.
However Glass insists his benefits to the Aberdeen set-up go far beyond the improvements he can bring to the attack.
Glass said: “Allan gets pigeon-holed, I think, from people who don’t know what goes on and how skilled and talented he is as a coach.
“He’s not just a striker coach or a set-piece coach.
“He’s a massively talented coach, which is great for our group.
“We both have our hands on the whole team during a session.
“There are days when Allan will do most of it and days when I will.
“Paul (Sheerin) is still here, Simmy (Neil Simpson) is still here, so there are a lot of voices and opinions before we go outside.”