‘I don’t really understand the logic’ - Former City boss frustrated with EFL restart schedule
PUBLISHED: 13:33 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:18 09 June 2020
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Former Norwich City boss Alex Neil has vented his frustration at the EFL’s proposed scheduling surrounding the Championship’s restart on June 20.
Neil, now managing Preston North End in the second tier, is perplexed at the decision to leave a free week after the first match and believes that the schedule will lead to an increased amount of injuries.
The Lilywhites sit just inside the play-offs with nine fixtures to play this season, starting with a trip to Luton Town a week on Saturday.
“There was so much at stake for a lot of teams and if you look at how tight the game schedule is, one thing I don’t quite get is why we’ve got a free week in the first week of starting back,” said the Scot, who inspired City’s promotion to the top flight in 2015.
“We start on the Saturday and then we’ve got a free Wednesday and then, if you do reach the play-offs then you’ve got 10 or 11 games back-to-back.
“The most we’ve ever done in the Championship was five back-to-back and that was over the Christmas period. It’s really going to be a tough ask for the players to maintain their intensity and not pick up injuries over this course.
“I think it would have been much better if we spaced out the gap in the middle of the games so you’ve got four or five matches, a free midweek so you can try and get people back and try and regroup and then finish off with another four or five matches.
“I don’t really understand the logic in terms of when they’ve put that space.”
Preston are hoping to defy the odds and win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, something Neil achieved during his spell as Canaries boss. He claims that Championship sides weren’t consulted over the dates of the restart, something he believes should have happened.
“I would like to know who the EFL actually consulted when they made that decision because our club certainly wasn’t spoken to and, having spoken to a number of other managers, their clubs hadn’t been spoken to either,” Neil told TalkSport.
“You would think that you would consult the clubs because it’s the players who are going to have to play all those games.”