Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss welcomes busy period

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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The busy festive fixture schedule has become a traditional part of English football’s calendar.

Yet, in recent seasons, countless pundits and managers have argued that introducing a winter break would drastically help Premier League clubs perform better in Europe and improve the national team’s fortunes.

While sides in England will be slugging it out over the holiday period, playing twice in the space of three days, footballers in Spain, France, Germany and Italy get the chance to rest their tired and aching limbs and enjoy a festive tipple.

In total, 37 European countries have a mid-season break but Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal is not an advocate of England scrapping their Christmas programme.

He told The Star: “I prefer England; I think no break is the best way.

“Of course, there are times in football when you wish that you could spend Christmas and New Year with your family but you have to be professional.

“We are here to entertain the fans and this is a nice period to promote football.

“I agree 100 per cent with playing over Christmas.

“This competition is a marathon.

“We don’t need breaks. Players like and want to play games.”

While Carvalhal is relishing the prospect of facing Birmingham City and Middlesbrough before the end of 2015, he hopes some of his injured senior players will be passed fit for selection.

He is short of defensive cover at centre-back, with Tom Lees, Michael Turner and Vincent Sasso all currently sidelined while Alex Lopez, Sergiu Bus and Marco Matias also sat-out Sunday’s comfortable win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Carvalhal added: “We will see in the next few days. I don’t know if they will recover or not.

“We are in a busy period so we would prefer everyone to be available. We need to make sure we share all the players.

“We have absolute confidence in all the squad but the reality is we are missing five or six players. Everybody is important.”

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