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Coyle slams 'ridiculous' timing
Published : 05 Aug 2010 13:00:00
olton boss Owen Coyle has branded the timing of the forthcoming round of international fixtures "a nonsense". England play Hungary next Wednesday in one of a host of international friendlies happening just days before the start of the Premier League season. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has already questioned the scheduling of the matches and Coyle, whose Wanderers team get their 2010-11 campaign under way at home to Fulham on August 14, is also worried about the impact international week will have on his preparations. "I think Harry probably summed it up for all of us last week when he said what he did," Coyle said. "He's right - it's a nonsense. You are working for five weeks in a pre-season to prepare your team for a difficult season ahead in the Premier League, and all of a sudden, in the most important week of build-up, you don't have your players, or at least three-quarters of your squad. "We have to give balance to it by saying that there is no better honour than representing your country and totally understanding that. But these are not qualifiers, these are friendly matches, and I'm pretty sure within the calendar there is another date they could have found for these games. "All of a sudden as a manager you are worrying about three-quarters of your squad picking up injuries, travelling halfway across the world, and then looking to have them fresh for the opening game of the season. "I think we are all agreed that, for us, it is ridiculous." Coyle suffered in a similar situation last season while manager of Burnley when club captain Steven Caldwell sustained an injury on duty with Scotland. "I think back to last year at Burnley and my captain Steven Caldwell had been called into the Scotland squad for the first time in two years," Coyle said. "It was a qualifier, against Norway, and he went, he got injured and he missed more or less the whole season because of that. "This is before a ball has even been kicked, so in that respect I think we are quite right to get upset about it - because we want our players available, particularly in that last week. "It is an important week in pre-season, just making sure everything is bedded in and you are ready to go."