The Dutch assistant coach praised the Three Lions’ stability during a hectic 12 months that included reaching the Euro 2020 final but also completing an undefeated qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup.
Boss Gareth Southgate and the Netherlands recently signed a new contract to stay at the helm of England until 2024, with the coaching duo now aiming for a final prize in Qatar next year.
“I think confidence comes from reality, not just from the coach telling the players ‘you can do it,'” Holland told the PA news agency.
“When you have to get to the semi-finals, then the final, the players believe, because they can see, they can see it’s possible.
“Next time they play in a final, it will feel more normal. So I think we have reason to believe that’s possible.
“Definitely the goal when we started was to win the World Cup, and still is. And we won’t give up on that, that’s for sure.
“It can and we will give it all we have to try to achieve it.”
England reached the Euro 2020 final delayed in the summer, only losing Italy on penalties at Wembley in July.
Southgate and the Netherlands took England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and are now determined to push the national team to the final step in Qatar.
The Netherlands accepted the Team of the Year award on behalf of England at the Sports Journalists Association’s Sports Awards in London on Thursday.
Southgate also received the inaugural Sky and Kick It Out awards for equality and inclusion.
Holland was quick to praise the England team after the award, but stressed there was still a lot of work ahead.
Holland said: “The important thing about this England team is that the clue is in the wording.
“We have a really strong support team behind the players, who have excellence in their field, they are motivated to give everything to help the team.
“We have a group of players who want to play for England, and their consistency over the past 12 months, not only in the Euros but also in the World Cup qualifiers before and after.
“The challenge that all the staff and players have had to go through over the past 12 months has been immense, and the level of consistency the team has created really must be reflected with immense pride in all of them. participants.
“I reflect with pride but I want to emphasize that I am one of the teams and it was a huge team effort. It’s an honor to be here and for us to win this award.
“It would be great to win the Euros but you can’t get closer than penalties in a final. It was the first final in my life and I was 51 years old.
“We have a great leader at Gareth who has done an incredible job culturally. The country likes the team, and that’s very important.
“We have some really good players who are not only great players but also great ambassadors for the country, who using their platform with the team to advance the fields of the world. sector for the greater good has really excelled.
“We also have a great defender behind the team. So we can reflect on a year of amazing progress.
“To reach the semi-finals in Russia and then the final at Wembley, those are the two most successful consecutive tournaments in British history.
“I think we can feel we are improving and can feel we are getting closer to winning, but it is another step that needs to be taken. And we’re all positive about taking the next step in the next contest.
“One year today in Qatar, we’re going to be in that tournament, and it’s a great opportunity to take it one step further.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/england-gareth-southgate-italy-steve-holland-qatar-b1968741.html Steve Holland insists England players believe they can win the Qatar World Cup