Koeman worried about ‘crazy’ schedule
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is worried about the ‘crazy’ Christmas schedule because he does not have experience of preparing for so many games in such a short space of time.
December is a particularly busy month for clubs with four games in the first three weeks before four games in the space of nine days over the Christmas and new year period.
It will prove a testing time for Southampton with games against Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, and Koeman admits he does not know how he will prepare for the fixture pile-up.
“It’s difficult because I don’t have experience playing that number of games in such a short time,” Koeman said.
“I always used to be on holiday during Christmas and now we have a lot of games to prepare for.
“I told the players, ‘honestly, I don’t have that experience’, it’s difficult.
“We have to play December 26 and then again on the 28th, January 1 and then January 3 for the FA Cup – it’s crazy.
“It’s not crazy to play at Christmas because I understand – we had that in Holland and the people like that.
“I’d like that as well if I like football and support Southampton – I can have my Christmas meal then go to the stadium and watch Southampton, I am happy.
“The problem is you have one day off between two games and that’s crazy, that’s impossible.
“That’s my problem with the schedule because if it’s the 26th and the 29th, no problem, but it’s Friday and Sunday. That’s crazy, one day off, crazy.”
Koeman concedes he will have to make changes to cope with the demands of the schedule but feels the fixture list only favours clubs with bigger squads.
“You have to change your team and I don’t like to change my team. I believe if the team is doing well you can change one or two positions but I don’t believe in changing my team in six or seven positions,” he said.
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