Latics made a surprise move when they handed former Sunderland and York youth coach Kelly his first managerial gig at SportsDirect.com Park with Holden, who was in temporary charge for the final 15 games of the season, hired as his assistant.
The two, both 35 years old, were not familiar with each other before Kelly emerged as Oldham’s preferred candidate but Holden wants to quickly establish a strong bond as they bid to improve on last year’s 15th-placed finish.
“Obviously, 100 per cent backing the manager is a big part of the assistant manager’s role,” he said.
“Privately, we can have little conversations between each other about how to move the club forward. But, ultimately, when you go out of the office and onto the training pitch into the players’ environment you’ve got to be a real team.
“That’s something I’ll be focusing on, making sure we stand together and that we have the same ideas.”
At Kelly’s unveiling, Latics chairman Simon Corney admitted he saw parallels between his new manager and former boss Lee Johnson, another rookie who was given his first chance by the club.
Oldham flirted with the play-offs under Johnson before he made an unpopular switch to divisional rivals Barnsley.
And, from his initial impressions of Kelly, Holden concedes he can see why Corney drew those comparisons.
“It’s all these fresh ideas – the passion screams out,” he added. “He’s obviously motivated, he’s talked himself about this is where he’s seen himself.
” His path’s very clear and he thinks with clarity, as Johno did himself, so I think there’s a real determination between the eyes when you look at them. They want to make a real fist of it.
“He’s said he’ll be working day and night, as we all will behind the scenes to make it a success.”