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Pochettino highlights importance of English identity at Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino says it has been a goal of his to develop his Tottenham Hotspur side around a core of English players.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Eric Dier have all been key figures for Spurs this season and as a result, the quintet are likely to feature for England at Euro2016.

Regarding the influence of the home-grown stars, Pochettino admits it is no coincidence as he set out to build a team around a quality group of Englishmen.

"I think it's important. We are an English club and, for me, it's important to provide a good balance between the player and to keep the culture.We are living in England," said the Argentine ahead of Monday night's clash with West Bromwich Albion.

"English culture is important and you can't be in an English club using Argentinian culture, or French, Italian, or whatever.

"I was in Spain [as a player and later coach of Espanyol] and when I first arrived in Spain it was the same. I think it's important to give the opportunity to the players from the nationality of the club.

"I think it's about identity and it's my responsibility as a manager to give the players the opportunity. I believe in all of the players.

"I don't look at their passports before I play them, but it's important if you're in Italy, Spain, England or France, to show respect and to try to keep the identity of the club.

"It's important for the foreign players who come here know that they have to integrate themselves in your culture, the English culture, and not the opposite way.

"It happens a lot, not just in football. But in football if the manager is Argentinian, he brings a lot of Argentinian players, or Spanish people, for me it does not work. It can work for a short period, but not for a long time.

"It's not just English players, or different nationality, it's about being good professionals. The passport is not important.

"The most important thing in the dressing room is being a good professional. Then if they are English good, and it's important to keep the identity and the culture. Then you must have a very good player that we have now."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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