Mauricio Pellegrino says the host of Southampton players due to represent their countries after Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Stoke City is another positive sign for the club.
The Southampton boss was quick to congratulate ‘keeper Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand on their inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania, while also admitting it can be a nervous time for managers as they hope all their players return fully fit.
“Congratulations to Fraser and Ryan for making the squad. In my opinion, England have one of the strongest national teams in the world," said Pellegrino.
“I always have mixed feelings about these matches. I am worried about the fitness of my squad when they are away and playing abroad. Nearly half of our group will be around the world next week which is not ideal but it is something that we are used to.
“I wish the guys the best and I hope they all return fit and healthy next month.”
When asked of the influence Forster and Bertrand’s call-ups may have in terms of inspiring the younger members of his squad, the Argentine added that the faith shown in his players from international coaches can only be a good thing for the football club.
He concluded, “It is a good signal for Southampton that we have so many important younger players like James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen, Shane Long, Manolo Gabbiadini and Mario Lemina who have represented their countries at junior and senior level."