TIRED PLAYERS

Bruce wants ‘international friendlies or a cup competition’ scrapped

Newcastle’s winter break was shortened from 15 days to 12 because they had to play an FA Cup replay against Oxford on Tuesday.

In Summary

• Bruce said he supported the idea of a winter break, but cutting it short ‘wasn’t quite right’ and asking players to play 15 games in two months was ‘ridiculous’.

• Chelsea and Manchester United have had the longest winter breaks with 16 days between their two games, while Southampton only had 10 days between their matches.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce
Image: /REUTERS

 

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce believes international friendlies or a cup competition should be scrapped to help protect players.

Newcastle’s winter break was shortened from 15 days to 12 because they had to play an FA Cup replay against Oxford on Tuesday.

They played 15 games between December 5 and February 4.

“You can’t keep asking the top players to play Saturday and Tuesday for evermore,” Bruce said.

“We keep asking players to play tired. Here, we have had people question the training methods — it’s nonsense, it’s playing tired players.”

Bruce said he supported the idea of a winter break, but cutting it short ‘wasn’t quite right’ and asking players to play 15 games in two months was ‘ridiculous’.

Chelsea and Manchester United have had the longest winter breaks with 16 days between their two games, while Southampton only had 10 days between their matches.

The former Manchester United defender called for a longer break for players, particularly those involved in international football, in order to fully recharge their batteries.

“All of Europe, they have a break — even Scotland has three weeks,” Bruce said.  “It has to be a good thing. If you don’t have a break, you lengthen the season somehow.”