League defend Owls fixture call

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

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The Football League have told The Star they outlined the reasons to Sheffield Wednesday "in full" why they knocked back the club's request to rearrange Monday's match with Middlesbrough.

Speaking after their 1-0 defeat at The Riverside, frustrated boss Carlos Carvalhal confirmed the Owls contacted the Football League over the possibility of putting the fixture back a day.

Prior to the televised clash, Carvalhal argued it "wasn't fair" or "correct" that Wednesday were being asked to play only 48 hours after their Boxing Day tussle with Birmingham City, with Boro's away clash at Blackburn Rovers called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

But the League rebuffed Wednesday's request as Cristhian Stuani's opener after 44 seconds proved decisive and sent Boro back to the top of the league.

Carvalhal claimed Boro's extra preparation time had a "massive" impact on the outcome.

"We contacted the Football League, I don't know if it was formal contact, but we contacted the league and they said they could do nothing," said the Portuguese chief.

"It's not good for the competition, a serious competition, as we must put in the minimum condition of three days. That's the minimum we should give teams, or play two days and everyone is in the same condition."

But a Football League spokesman told this newspaper: "The League received a request from Sheffield Wednesday to postpone Monday's match with Middlesbrough following the postponement of Boro’s match with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

"Having considered the matter, the League felt that it could not accede to this request and explained its decision in full to the club.”

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