Fulham striker Andrew Cole has hit back at criticism of foreign managers claiming their presence is helping to eradicate racism from the game.

In recent weeks there has been some criticism of coaches from overseas accusing them of introducing a dull, predictable brand of football.

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has claimed they only went to the top clubs where they are given up to £100million to spend rather than smaller clubs with restricted budgets.

Cole, however, is adamant the game in England has only benefited from the arrival of the likes of Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez and Jacques Santini and insists it represents a huge step in the right direction.

Cole told the Sunday Mirror: “There is a new generation of foreign managers who have come into the Premiership and the great thing about them is they are all open-minded.

“They give everyone an opportunity if they believe they are good enough.

“For me, that’s the way forward.”

The Fulham striker insists things have improved since he began his career in the early 1980s.