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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 09:21 GMT
Redknapp fears festive fixtures
Rafael Benitez (left) and Harry Redknapp
Benitez and Redknapp face a busy festive period
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has joined Liverpool's Rafael Benitez in criticising the festive fixture list.

Redknapp said: "There are too many games. I am going to have to juggle around with the squad because I've some players who are going to feel it.

"Four games in such a short space of time would kill them."

Benitez wants the festive programme to be cut in half to protect his stars from injury, adding: "There is a big risk for the players."

With Christmas Day falling on a Monday, the schedule will consist of four Premiership games in 10 days.

POMPEY FIXTURES
23 Dec - Sheff Utd (H)
26 Dec - West Ham (A)
30 Dec - Bolton (A)
1 Jan - Tottenham (H)

The 59-year-old Redknapp cancelled all Christmas festivities two years ago when Portsmouth were struggling.

And he added: "We have to go to Bolton next Saturday and then Tottenham on the Monday and some of the players are not going to be able to do that because it may turn out that it keeps them out for five or six weeks after that."

Benitez said: "Four games is a lot. If you want to keep the tradition, maybe play two games, it would be enough.

"You cannot play two games in three days - it is impossible for a player to be physically fit for the next game."

LIVERPOOL FIXTURES
23 Dec - Watford (H)
26 Dec - Blackburn (A)
30 Dec - Tottenham (A)
1 Jan - Bolton (A)
The former Valencia coach was afforded the luxury of an extended break over Christmas and New Year during his spell in charge in Spain.

And the Spaniard believes the hectic programme has a detrimental effect on British sides in Europe as well as on Steve McClaren's England team.

He added: "When you think about the national team and the performances of the teams in the Premier and Europe it is not necessary to play four games.

"We want to play Boxing Day and we want to play New Year's Day - I feel that is enough.

"How can you be a normal person in the street with parties on 31 December and then be ready for a game if you play 1 January?"

SEE ALSO
Christmas fixtures set for review
30 Dec 05 |  Football


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