Sheffield Wednesday boss Tony Pulis slams EFL for putting Owls at 'unfair' disadvantage
Back-to-back matches on the road have put Sheffield Wednesday at a clear and avoidable disadvantage against Stoke ahead of this weekend’s Hillsborough clash, according to Owls boss Tony Pulis.
The 62-year-old, who picked up his first point as Wednesday manager with a hard-fought midweek draw at Swansea, slammed the EFL’s scheduling of fixtures in what is a congested Championship season.
This week saw his side make the trip to Preston and then South Wales in what is one of several instances of back-to-back away matches all sides will face. Wednesday will host Stoke and then Reading within five days this week.
But it puts clubs at a huge disadvantage in certain matches, Pulis says, with his former club arriving on Saturday having enjoyed far more rest time than his injury-torn Owls.
“We’ve had those two away games and it’s unfair in some respects,” he said, speaking after the draw at the Liberty Stadium. “The EFL need to look at that.
“Stoke played last night [in a 3-2 defeat against Norwich] at 7pm. Now we’ve got to travel all the way back, we won’t get back until the early hours Thursday morning and Stoke will have had two extra days rest than us, which I don’t think is fair and I don’t think is right. They should look at it.”
Wednesday will make the long trip to Norwich next Saturday, straight after their Reading match, before what could be a bruising Yorkshire derby with Huddersfield three days later. The Terriers, on the other hand, will have played at home to QPR.
The long trip back from Norfolk and subsequent knock-on of recovery time could put the Owls at another day’s disadvantage in terms of preparation.
Pulis said: “I don’t know why we’re not having home and then away. Why couldn’t we have played Stoke tonight and then travel to Swansea on Saturday? Why have we got to do Preston and then Swansea?
“They spin it. It’s the same for other clubs, it’s not just for us. I’m saying it for other clubs.
“Why are they making us travel Saturday and then midweek to far-off places? You can spin it home and away, home and away, home and away.”