Former Stag Russell hired to help get England firing

Allan Russell in action for Hamilton Academicals.
Allan Russell in action for Hamilton Academicals.

A former Mansfield Town striker has been called up by Gareth Southgate to help coach England’s attacking players - despite being Scottish.

Allan Russell, who spent the 2005/6 season with the Stags and scored six goals in 18 appearances, describes himself as the ‘world’s number one attacking coach’ on his social media profile and has been drafted in by Southgate ahead of England’s next World Cup qualifier, ironically against Scotland in Glasgow on Saturday.

The 36-year-old spent most of his career in Scotland, aside from spells with Macclesfield, Mansfield and Forest Green in England and then six years in the USA before retiring to focus on becoming a coach.

He has worked with Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Southampton and Crystal Palace, as well as having a regular slot on Sky’s Soccer AM. He will work with all age groups and the women’s team in his England role.

He told Sky Sports: “I assess them. As soon as they come in I know what’s wrong with the body mechanics, if their balance is right, if their technique is good enough, the discipline in their follow-through, how they are setting their finishes.

“I can give them immediate feedback - is their standing foot far enough forward when they strike the ball? Are they stretching? Are they connecting with the right part of the ball? How are they rotating their hips?”

England face Scotland on Saturday afternoon before a friendly in France next Tuesday.