Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Players need winter break - Mancini

Roberto Mancini wants clubs in England to have a winter break

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revived calls for a winter break after England boss Roy Hodgson criticised club attitudes towards internationals.

Hodgson has suggested current international breaks are not being treated seriously by some clubs because they use them as an opportunity to rest players. Hodgson's remarks came after Rio Ferdinand controversially withdrew from the England squad for last month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Mancini thinks such scenarios might not occur if players were given some time off during the winter. The Italian said: "I think in England you need to have a break in December for the national team because we play a lot of games. The moment that they decide to give players one week off in December it will be good for the teams and national team."

Hodgson is also concerned that City and Chelsea are travelling to the United States after their domestic season ends in May to play two friendlies against each other. Mancini is worried about the workload of his players, many of whom will have to report for international duty on return from America.

He said: "It is incredible. These players don't have the time to recover very well. When we finish the championship, we go for one week in New York and after they come back there are some players that play in the Confederations Cup and qualification for World Cup. I think that is incredible."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "International football interferes with the clubs' ambitions. Friendly games for a start. They have been doing it for the last decade, playing a friendly in the week before the season starts. Tell me the sense of that.

"It doesn't matter what way you look at it. Club managers are always in disagreement with international football, particularly in friendly situations. I have no issues at all about the competitive part. The players should always be available for the European Championship and the World Cup. But you can't tell me that should apply itself in friendly games."

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez said: "There are too many games in a season. I will not say international or what kind of games. Too many games, though. Reduce the number of games: simple."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp feels Hodgson does not have much of a case to argue when it comes to clubs resting players. "I don't know what Roy is saying there," he said. "International friendlies are quite often meaningless games."

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has assured Hodgson he will have no problems with him resting players during international breaks. Hodgson said: "We have only got Steven Taylor, so he hasn't really got to worry about us - and there's no way I am going to be able to rest him. He would crawl to the England camp if he could."