New Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill revealed he felt the FA should introduce a winter break to make English football less hectic.
The Northern Irish manager, who has previously coached in Scotland, revealed a winter break was better for both the managers and the players. In his opinion, the English Premier League teams could benefit from a break in the winter.
The winter period is the most hectic in English football, with fixtures taking place over weekends and in mid-week before the New Year’s period. Most sides have found themselves struggling as they try and keep pace with the league leaders.
According to O’Neill a break, even if it was for just a fortnight, could benefit all the teams. He revealed he had helped Celtic, his former side, reach the UEFA Cup final, because of the winter break that the Scottish football allowed its teams.
O’Neill said while speaking to reporters:
“My personal view is that I would love to see it happen, even for a week or two because psychologically, I believe when you start off the season, it's pretty long and it gives you something to think about during that time.
Even if it was only for a fortnight, I think psychologically, it would help everyone, that's my view.”
The manager did not think it was a coincidence his side had experienced better results after the winter break and urged the FA to consider the possibility. The former Northern Ireland international resigned as Aston Villa manager in 2010 and took over as
Sunderland boss when Steve Bruce was sacked.
“When we were in Scotland, I experienced it twice in the five years I was there and one of those years, Celtic reached the UEFA Cup final. I didn't think it was a coincidence myself.”
While O’Neill did not think the fixtures over Christmas and New Year’s had to be postponed, he felt the FA Cup fixtures could be delayed. He was certain it would have a calming effect on the players, who would definitely go on to perform better.
After a winning start against Blackburn Rovers last weekend, Sunderland suffered an acceptable 1-0 defeat to third place Tottenham Hotspur and face Queens Park Rangers this Wednesday.