Glentoran striker Robbie McDaid has warned of the toll the "crazy" Irish League fixture schedule could take on players.
The Glens host Big Two rivals Linfield tonight in the first of nine matches scheduled this month.
McDaid said their focus is just on getting through the games, but stressed that a full summer break will be needed for players to recover. Without a proper interval, he fears the quality of the league could be damaged.
"I'm not bothered about how many games there are, but I do think players need a break in the summer because it has been hectic," he said.
"You can't expect 38 games, spaced over a month or two less of the season, plus the Irish Cup, and then not give boys a rest.
"We have got a league that is still probably 80 per cent part-time as well.
"So boys will need time off, they need to recuperate, and if you are talking about the product of the league and good games and good entertainment, you need boys to be fresh and sharp.
"The fixture list is tough at the minute but further down the line they need to address it."
Clubs are playing catch-up due to the impact of Covid-19 on this season's Danske Bank Premiership, which started in mid-October and had to contend with a two-week circuit-breaker in late December.
Some clubs have also had to postpone matches due to cases of the virus among their players.
It has led to a scramble to get the 38-game programme completed by the end of May - the Uefa deadline for European nominations.
However, Glens boss Mick McDermott told yesterday's Belfast Telegraph that he believed a 38-game season was achievable.
McDaid admits the punishing run of matches - tonight's clash with Linfield is the Glens' third in eight days - is pushing players to the limit.
But he feels they can approach it with confidence after last week's stoppage time win over the Blues.
However, McDaid was also quick to point out that last week’s last-ditch win would count for little if they weren’t able to follow it up with a positive result tonight.
“Obviously it is going to be a different game — there will probably be a couple of changes,” he added.
“The schedule is crazy at the minute — Saturday then Tuesday. The boys need rest, there are tired legs out there, but there are two big squads so I’m sure the squads will be utilised.
“It will be a tough game, with it being back at The Oval it probably gives us a bit of an advantage again, but we’ll see what happens.”
The Glens are 12 points back on the table-topping Blues but, with two games in hand, McDermott has refused to rule out a late title charge.
McDaid also feels there is still all to play for.
He added: “It has been a crazy year — there are probably about six or seven teams that realistically could put a title challenge in.
“We are not thinking about that, we are just thinking about Linfield on Tuesday night. We will take it game by game, as clichéd as it sounds, but the manager and the staff have drilled that into us, so we won’t be looking past Tuesday night.”
Glentoran, who triumphed at Dungannon Swifts on Saturday, are on a four-match winning run and McDaid feels that good form is helping them through the hectic schedule.
“It is what it is — you just have to crack on with it and take the positives out of it,” he added.
“If you are winning, sometimes it is easier to recover than if you are losing. Thankfully we have been on a bit of a good run and winning streak, so it is a bit easier to recover and get yourself ready for Tuesday night.”