Festive schedule is ludicrous - Sunderland boss Bruce
Bruce 'puzzled' by fixture congestion
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has called for an end to the "ludicrous" festive fixture list after seeing three players suffer muscle injuries on Tuesday.
Nedum Onuoha, Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan were all injured in the Black Cats' 2-0 home defeat by Blackpool.
Bruce says it is "nonsense" that his players should face five games in eight days and he now wants a winter break.
"Every country in Europe does it," he said. "We should be taking a break too, there should be a break here."
Bruce's sentiments were echoed on Tuesday by West Ham manager Avram Grant following his side's 1-1 draw against Everton.
The Hammers were playing for the second time in three days, whereas wintry weather problems meant that Everton had been out of action for eight days.
Grant said: "It's not easy to play two games in 48 hours; this is the only country that plays two games in 48 hours.
"It's okay if both teams have equal chances but if one team needs to play and the other comes fresh, it's a big disadvantage."
Most teams in England face up to four fixtures during the 10-day festive period.
Why not play it later on in the season? We should be breaking like every other country. Forget the tradition
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce
The call for a winter break such as that employed in Italy, France and Spain has been backed by Premier League managers.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-time supporter of such a rest, while Manchester City manager Robert Mancini and West Bromwich Albion head coach Roberto di Matteo have also spoken in favour of the idea.
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has gone on record as saying he has never wanted a winter break.
Now, having had three of his players injured in the match with Blackpool - two days after his side lost 2-0 to Manchester United - Bruce has added his voice to the argument.
He said: "That's the biggest concern for me - if we don't speak up, all of us, especially as Premier League managers.
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