A promise made is a promise kept for new Aberdeen coach Allan Russell.
A working relationship formed in the United States will continue at Pittodrie after the Scot agreed to follow new Dons boss Stephen Glass in making the move to Scotland.
While Glass has relocated from the United States, Russell has made the shorter journey, having been based in England where he has another coaching role as specialist striker coach with Gareth Southgate’s national team.
Russell will juggle two roles after agreeing to join Glass’ backroom staff, but it was an invitation he was only too happy to accept.
He said: “We spoke when we played together in North Carolina and we said when one of us goes into management we would support the other. That has been the case.
“I discussed the role at Aberdeen with Gareth, absolutely.
“There is always clarity when it comes to things and I had those discussions with Gareth and Stephen and taking on two roles was made clear from the outset.
“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.”
When the Scottish Premiership campaign comes to an end next Saturday, Russell will switch his attention to next month’s European Championship finals, but he insists Aberdeen will not be far from his thoughts.
He said: “It is not a complete switch of focus.
“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.
“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 and my role with Aberdeen and England.
“First and foremost there are internationals in this squad and in this team. If you want me to compare England players to Aberdeen players I am not going to do that.
“England are obviously a certain type of player that are playing with their country and playing at a high level.
“It is not all about who is at a higher level. There are not huge differences – it is not that different.”
Russell is held in high regard within English football following his impressive results as a specialist striker coach. His career progression has been an unusual one in football terms, but he insists specialist coaching has become more prevalent in the modern game.
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.”
Some fans may wonder just how a Scotsman came to be working for the Three Lions, but Russell’s track record in England at club level is what has led to the door being opened at international level.
He said: “There are a lot of big players down there 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.”