Is pressure to perform in Premier League affecting England’s hopes of success

Chris Hughton.

Chris Hughton. - Credit: Archant © 2013

Chris Hughton says the pressure to perform in the Premier League is affecting the development of young English footballers.

Norwich City were among the exceptions to the rule last season when it came to playing Englishmen – more than half of the 27 players who represented City in the top flight were English, a figure beaten by only Southampton.

But the top clubs' reliance on foreign players – and foreign managers has been blamed in many quarters for the demise of the England national teams.

Hughton says the presence of so many English players in last year's teams was partly a remnant of the Paul Lambert era and he believes it is important to retain 'a core of English players' – but admits the priority has to be winning

'I think if I look at what we have at Premier level, particularly this season where the money situation is completely different to what it was previous seasons, there is so much pressure on the manager,' he said.

'The remit is always going to be to do the best job they can in the shortest period of time.

'You look at some other countries' under-21s, their players are playing in their teams' first team in the top division, whereas if you look at the England Under-21s how many are playing regularly in the Premier League teams that they represent.

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'It is tough because you have to produce and you have to produce over a short period of time and the stakes are so high now.'

City won the FA Youth Cup this season, but the question now is, will any of that squad go on and become Premier League players?

'We hope so,' said Hughton. 'That is the reason why as a club we went for Category One status (in the Elite Player Performance Plan) and looking to the future we would of course like to bring players through the system, but it is difficult.

'The better players will always come through, but it becomes more difficult, because the top clubs have wonderful squads to choose from and have international players that they have on the bench and I think if you are a club perhaps in that bottom eight of that division it is about making sure you can go to every game competitive and try and win games. But certainly for us, the philosophy of trying to bring through the best young players – and we do have good young ones – has to be the best policy.'