Fixture congestion a joke, slams Cliftonville manager Patterson
Angry Eddie Patterson has hit out at fixture planners as his Cliftonville team prepares for their eighth game of a season that is only 25 days old.
And in a second swipe the Solitude boss slammed the Irish FA for demanding that the Reds face Institute in the Carling Premiership, just three days after a Setanta Sports Cup venture to Cork City — which meant a 530 mile round trip by bus.
The 70 miles to Drumahoe tonight will feel like just up the road after the weekend, but it’s a game Patterson didn’t want.
“I would have preferred to have been allowed to have sorted out the rearrangement of this game ourselves rather than being told when we had to play it,” said Patterson.
“The scheduled so far this season has been a joke as it is, without us being dictated to over a league game that had to be put back because we were playing in the Setanta Cup.
“I don’t know who planned out the date for the fixtures or what they were thinking, but having six league games in the first month of the season, a round of the County Antrim Shield as well as the start of the Setanta Cup is just crazy.
“These are part-time players we are working with. Maybe I am being selfish because of the injuries that I have, but such a heavy schedule is only going to cause more injuries and I think it needs to be looked at.
“At the end of October we have a round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup thrown in on a Saturday, with league games during the week which I simply don’t understand.
“We’ll not have as busy a schedule as this over Christmas and the New Year, when there are traditionally more games.”
Eddie’s son Mark is coming off the injury list, but added to the list of unavailable players are Chris Scannell and Kieran O’Connor due to work commitments. Barry Holland and Ciaran Caldwell are suspended, but Mark Holland is free after his ban which was carried over from last season which is a boost.