LONDON -- Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated that England have the talent to match the best teams in the world, and described his commitment to English players as a "thank you" to his adopted home.
Since arriving at Southampton in 2012, Pochettino has gone against the grain, preferring to promote academy players to the first team, or buy and develop youth, rather than spending big -- a policy he has admitted is "a little bit crazy" for English clubs.
His success at developing players has done wonders for the national team and 12 of the last 30 England debutants -- including Adam Lallana, Harry Kane and Dele Alli, have been coached by him at Saints or Spurs.
The Spurs manager has previously said that England can produce the players to rival the likes of Spain and Brazil and he insisted that is still true, even after England's uninspiring recent performances have left national expectations at a new low ahead of next summer's World Cup.
"Yes, of course the talent is there. No doubt about that. No doubt," Pochettino said. "The English players are so talented. It's only about your vision and how you perceive them and then how you provide them with the platform and the tools to play and to perform.
"When we arrived here five years ago it was a little bit of a taboo - 'oh, young players do not play, we don't have the same talent as in Spain, or Argentina, Brazil.'
"We didn't say anything. We didn't say yes or no. We watched and we thought, 'oh, you have the same talent. You must believe in your talent and provide the platform to show they are capable of playing at a good level.'
"After that we started to work and tried to prove that English talent is like in Spain or in Argentina or Brazil and we started to believe. We love to give the possibility to the young and help them to achieve their dream and they work hard and took the opportunity.
Pochettino has previously said it is his "identity as a manager" to produce English players and he added: "For me, because I left my country when I was very young it is to say 'thank you.'
"I feel when I arrived in Spain and now in England in which way can we say 'thank you' to the country that opened the door when I didn't speak English. And how people treated me and my family and my staff which was really well. It's a way to say thank you to the Premier League and the people who trust in you."
Pochettino's latest England debutant was Harry Winks, 21, who was named man-of-the-match in the 1-0 win over Lithuania this week.
"I think he did very well. He played very calmly," Pochettino said. "We're not surprised because we know him and how he is. I think it was fantastic that performance and opened the door for the future to be involved again. I think for him, Tottenham, Gareth [Southgate] and English football it was fantastic. Another young player making his debut in the national team."
Meanwhile, Pochettino said that it Erik Lamela and Danny Rose struggled mentally during their long injury absences. Both players joined group training on Wednesday for the first time this season and Pochettino has said they are 'a few weeks' away from a return to the first-team.
Rose has not played since late January due to a knee problem and he spent a few days at St. George's Park, England's training base, last month for a change of scene.
Lamela has been sidelined for a year with hip problems and he also needed a change in January, returning to former club AS Roma for treatment.
"It is so difficult because to be on the street to feel the love, playing football and after one injury you are nearly one year on the corner and no one look at you or speak about you, that is so difficult thing for the player. To drive. To hunger," Pochettino said.
"Sometimes players are different characters. Sometimes they explode. Sometimes they are sad. The motivation in some situations in general can be depressive.
"It's very difficult. It's important for us the staff to be focused in trying to help them but it's not an easy thing to do because the player only wants to play and be fit and score goals.
"They are so special in their minds. That is why today both are so happy because they are involved in the dynamic of the group."