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Published: 08:38 | 5/1/16

Allardyce slams fixture list


Sam Allardyce fears players are being put under too much pressure because of the 'diabolical' fixture list.

Fresh from the congested Christmas and New Year period, Sunderland face a trip to Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on Saturday before facing fellow Premier League strugglers Swansea midweek.

The game against Swansea has been moved to Tuesday at the Swans request and as a result the Black Cats will have just two days to recover before meeting Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime.

Allardyce believes the fixture list is putting players' health at risk and he has called on the Premier League to make changes.

"It's diabolical. We're flogging the lads," Allardyce declared.

"There are more and more injuries every year but it's completely ignored by the Premier League. It's unbelievable."

Allardyce has made it clear he plans to make changes to his team for the FA Cup as he targets Premier League survival.

"If you want us to respect the FA Cup, don't put Premier League fixtures in the midweek just after new year," he added. "Don't give me stick when I change the side at Arsenal. Give the Premier League stick, not the managers.

"It's a game to be enjoyed, not a game to be destroyed and we destroy the game by asking the players to do too much in this period."

With Sunderland currently in the relegation zone, Allardyce is unhappy with the Premier League's decision to switch the game against Swansea to Wednesday.

"Making me play Wednesday and Saturday rather than Tuesday and Saturday is making it harder for me to get Premier League points," the Sunderland boss explained.

"With having three away games in succession we've got around 2,000 miles of travel and the lunchtime kick-off means we've less than three days recovery for Tottenham."

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