The manager of Wolves, Gary O’Neil, has revealed that he begged the Premier League to postpone their league game against Everton by a day due to workload issues.
However, the Premier League turned down the plea as the game between Wolves and Everton went on as planned on December 30.
Despite his concerns, Wolves, who had played three games in six days, overcame a struggling Everton 3-0 with ease as the club ended up in the 11th spot after garnering 13 points from their past six games.
Recall that before defeating the Toffees, Wolves defeated Brentford 4-1 on December 27 and Chelsea 2-1 on Christmas Eve to record three wins in a row ahead of 2024.
“I’m risking players getting injured by asking them to go again,” said O’Neil.
“The league are always fine, there’s normally a reason why they can’t do it.
“They were open to listening to what I spoke about and they looked into it as much as they could but said it was, unfortunately, not possible.
“Three games in six days is tough. You are always playing with someone hurting or not fully recovered.
“It’s excessive, to expect them to be at the level they are supposed to be at.”
O’Neil made these remarks in response to the Professional Football Association’s announcement that it is considering its legal options because of the increasing amount of football games on the schedule.
The action-packed calendar will further include a 48-team World Cup, a 32-team Club World Cup, and expanded Champions League and Europa League to 36 teams.
According to a June assessment by the worldwide players’ group Fifpro, which is also advocating for adjustments to the football schedule to protect players, football players need to be protected against a “dangerous” schedule.
O’Neil said he had “no complaints,” but he did wish the breaks in between games had been longer.
“We’ll play when they tell us to play, my players are as game as any group I’ve met”, he said.
“A little bit longer to play three games would have been ideal. You never feel yourself, especially in the third one.”
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