Martin O’Neill: “I’m a great believer in a winter break.
“I’ve had experience of it in Scotland.
“My own belief is we contested a Uefa Cup final (in 2003) very much on the back of a break.
"You can’t narrow it down to just that, but I believe psychologically and physically, it was terrific for us.
“It was a long season so it was nice to have that focal point. You come back refreshed for the rest of the season. you feel as if you’ve got more energy.
“Ours (at Sunderland) was a break because we didn’t go through in the FA Cup, I’d have preferred to have been in the FA Cup but I still believe it was worthwhile.”