FORMER England manager Peter Taylor feels the number of foreign players in the Premier League must be reduced to stop football “killing itself” in this country.

Taylor, who also played for and managed Southend United, feels progress will not be made until younger players are given more of a chance at their club.

“We need to restrict the number of foreign players in the Premier League,” said Taylor, who lives in Benfleet.

“I know they tell me it’s not possible with the European Union (EU) rules, but if there had been a restriction in place then the clubs would go for the best foreigners around.

“If you were only allowed four foreign players they would get the best four they could, but we have a situation in this country where Chelsea have foreign players they loan out and I can’t work that one out at all.”

Taylor, who is now in charge of League One side Gillingham, has previously also taken charge of England at under-21 and under-20 level.

He is therefore fully aware of the talent currently coming through.

But he remains concerned they will not be given the opportunities to develop their game.

“Look at Andros Townsend. He had to go out on loan to get games but eventually he goes back to Tottenham, does well and helps England get to the World Cup,”

said Taylor.

“He should have played for Tottenham much quicker but because there were foreign players there, who were actually no better than him, it didn’t happen.

“I just think we should respect our national game because at the moment we’re killing ourselves.

“We don’t have enough English players, that affects the national team and because they’re not doing so well our coaches aren’t respected either.”

But Taylor felt current England boss Roy Hodgson was not to blame for England’s early exit in Brazil.

“Defensively we were very disappointing which is very unlike Roy’s teams,” said the Rochford-born 61-year-old.

“He’s always very organised but it wasn’t his fault that people switched off.

“Both centre halves made individual mistakes and so did Glen Johnson for Luis Suarez’s first goal against Uruguay.

“I said before the World Cup we had to be defensively right because we weren’t going to score many goals and unfortunately we weren’t.

“When you play at that level you get punished too and we need to be able to have a better squad.

“We have a decent 11 players but you go to Spain and other countries and they have two or three different players for each position and we don’t have that.”