Sunderland boss Poyet criticises festive schedule

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet has criticised the scheduling of the Premier League festive fixtures as he prepares his side for a second match in three days, BBC Sport has reported.

The current arrangement sees full programmes of fixtures played on Boxing Day, December 28th and New Year’s Day, and for Sunderland, the game at Aston Villa on Sunday comes only two days after they were beaten 3-1 at home by Hull City despite taking a first minute lead.

With most other European leagues opting to take a winter break, the crowded fixture list over the festive period has been a regular source of debate among Premier League managers in recent times, with the risk of injuries to key players providing the main source of their concern.

And while Poyet believes the tradition of playing on Boxing Day must be maintained, he feels that teams should not be made to play two days after.

“I know that Boxing Day games are a tradition and I accept that and think we should maintain it,” said the 47-year-old. “But I think that then playing on the 28th is a disgrace. We shouldn’t be playing then, we shouldn’t.”

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