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London: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes that the dwindling number of homegrown coaches in the English Premier League (EPL) is a matter of concern for the future of British football.
"I think you should be concerned. You know, the Premier League was quite a closed space for foreign managers and to come here was not easy," Mourinho was quoted as saying by the local media here on Sunday.
"I think there's a consequence for the national managers. I think the game gets richer through the confrontation between difficult styles of management and coaching. So I'm not saying it's negative for the competition. What I'm saying is it's more difficult if you have a smaller group of the British managers. Then for others, it's more difficult," he added.
Mourinho's comments came after Swansea's Garry Monk became the latest British coach to lose his job this season, meaning the number of homegrown managers in the EPL has fallen from nine in the summer to seven.
He believes that the situation could have serious consequences for the future of the England team, with Football Association (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn confirming that the governing body may consider a foreigner as the next manager of the national squad once current incumbent Roy Hodgson leaves the role.
The 52-year-old Portuguese pointed out that 15 out of 18 managers in Portugal's top flight are natives, adding that his own successes had made Portuguese coaches fashionable at home and abroad.
"Yes, I speak against myself, but I think it's true. In this moment for example in Portugal we have 18 teams in the premier league and 15 Portuguese coaches. Some people say, and it's true, that's because something changed in the last decade," he said.
"Some people say it's a little bit of an effect of what happened with me, Portuguese, young, gets Porto champions, champion again, Champions League, success, and people start believing and start giving chances, and they were doing well, and then comes another one and another one and now we have one Portuguese at Monaco, one at Olympiacos, one at Zenit, we have Carlos Carvajal at Sheffield Wednesday doing very well too," Mourinho added.
"We have Paolo Sousa in Fiorentina. People believe that more are coming and they give them their chances."
The Chelsea manager also believes that it is now easier for foreign managers to get jobs in the EPL compared to when he first arrived on the English scene in 2004.
"When I first came here (after winning the 2004 Champions League with FC Porto) I think I did enough to deserve to be here. You come to the country No 1 in European football, to the no1 championship, and you feel that you have to deserve to be here.
"I think in this moment it's too easy. I think the number of foreign coaches in the Premier League, even in the Championship -- and maybe League One, I don't know -- it's too big compared with the number of English, or in this case British managers," he said.
"I'm not British but I feel sympathy.