A generation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) players may have "missed their chance of managing" but the situation is improving, says England coach Chris Powell.
Powell joined England in September as part of a Football Association programme designed to "solve the under-representation" of BAME coaches.
There are only six BAME managers in English football's top four divisions.
"Have we missed a generation? Maybe," Powell told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"All I can talk about now and hope to help is the present and the future."
Former Charlton and Huddersfield boss Powell, 50, said there "may have been mistakes in the past" and there "may have been ex-players that maybe missed their chance of managing".
However, he added he felt the situation has improved for current BAME players.
"There may be players who are playing now or maybe coming to the end of their careers that can get there," he said.
"They can coach in the Premier League because [former Norwich and Brighton manager] Chris Hughton has done that.
"They can coach in the Championship or League One because I have done that and I want others to feel they are capable of doing that."
Former left-back Powell was capped five times by England during his playing career. He has also managed Southend United and had caretaker spells in charge of Leicester and Derby.
Michael Johnson, who guided Guyana to their first Gold Cup this summer, has teamed up with the England Under-21s as part of the scheme, with placements set to run until Euro 2020.
In June, the English Football League made it mandatory for clubs to interview at least one BAME candidate when searching for a new first-team manager.
"It's great the Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association feel it's a starting point," said Powell.
"Some people will argue and say it's not enough but you have to start somewhere and I'm part of that journey now.
"I have to play my part and show people I'm capable and then when my time's up someone can come in and feel comfortable being a coach at this level or maybe a manager at club level or even at national level.
Powell said he does not yet know whether his current role with England will be extended after Euro 2020 or someone else will take over.
"I'm really enjoy it, so I hope it's me but I think it will benefit me in the long run," he said.
"I still have aspirations to manage and coach, whatever level that is - it might be I stay in the international set-up, I don't know, I just hope what I'm doing will help others."
England play their final two Euro 2020 qualifiers this week, hosting Montenegro on Thursday at 19:45 GMT before travelling to face Kosovo on Sunday at 17:00.