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Rodgers unhappy over scheduling
Published : 19 Dec 2011 16:46:59
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has hit out at the scheduling of Premier League fixtures over the festive period as he prepares his side for a run of four games in 12 days.
Swansea kick off that frenetic period with Wednesday's trip to face Everton at Goodison Park before hosting QPR on December 27, they then face Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium on December 31 and travel to play Aston Villa just two days later.
While other clubs are faced with a similarly demanding streak of games, the issue is compounded for Rodgers by his relatively small squad, and the Northern Irishman is far from happy at the Welsh club's itinerary. He said: "The people who put fixtures together do not have a clue about physical conditioning."
Rodgers added: For our game against Tottenham there will be one team and for the Monday game against Aston Villa there will have to be changes. We have games on Wednesday and next Tuesday so there is enough recovery time for me to go with the same team, but the plan over four games has always had to be to change it.
"Football is a great tradition in Britain at this time of the year. It's great and fantastic for supporters to have such a number of games but if you look from a professional perspective, players have peaks themselves and they have not recovered from the exertions of the previous game.
"If we are having a normal recovery period from a game on a Saturday, the Sunday would be the first day of recovery and then the players really feel the effects of a game on the Monday, so they have a second day of recovery. They don't properly come back up to speed until the Tuesday because of the tempo of the modern game.
"So for us on what would normally be a second day of recovery after we play Tottenham, we have to go and play another full on, high-tempo Premier League match at Aston Villa. It's not ideal but it's the same for everyone else."
Some of the division's leading managers, including Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger have long campaigned for there to be a winter break integrated into the English season, in the same manner as in Spain and Italy.
But Rodgers does not feel that a break is a solution, and believes that just rescheduling the fixtures due to be played in the middle of the first week in January for later in the season would provide the required respite for the players.
"I don't think we need a winter break, but we don't need the Monday game," he said. "They should play that game on the Tuesday or Wednesday or extend the season by a week. Or we could have a midweek game somewhere else in the season. I can understand the New Year's Eve game but is there a need for the Monday game? I don't think there is. It's ridiculous."