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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 July, 2004, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
FA targets winter break
FA chief executive Mark Palios
Palios supports Eriksson's desire for a winter break
The Football Association is working towards introducing a mid-season break in the domestic calendar before the start of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson argues that a break prevents player fatigue.

Asked if the FA wants a break, FA chief executive Mark Palios told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek: "That is the target.

"Sven believes this is part of the answer and all of the Premiership clubs have recognised this would be helpful to them in the European competitions."

Palios backs Eriksson's view that a break would enable top players to arrive fresher at major international tournaments.

"It is a Europe-wide problem," added the FA chief executive. "I was speaking to the Uefa technical guys and they think the gap between the European competitions and the European Championship is too small.

"There is not sufficient a gap for the players to come to the tournament fresh.

"As for a break we're still working at it and we have to get everybody on board to make it happen and we're talking to the major stakeholders but there are still some pieces of the jigsaw to put together."

Since becoming England coach Eriksson has fought hard for the introduction of a break but in March the FA Cup committee vetoed the idea.

Palios said it was "a good performance" by England in Portugal during Euro 2004.

"We believed we we were capable of going all the way. In a competition like this the margin between success and failure in the latter stages is pretty thin and turns on events.

"Certainly there was a belief we were good enough and I still hold that belief."

Palios also insisted the door will remain wide open when they eventually look for a successor to Eriksson.

"Of course it would be nice to have an English guy in charge of England," he said.

"At the FA we are trying to develop English managers to international standard.

"But nationality is not that much of an issue. It comes down to who is the best guy for the job."







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