Exclusive – New England boss Sam Allardyce backs winter break and insists it helped Sunderland beat relegation
New England manager Sam Allardyce would like to see a winter break introduced to boost the national team’s tournament hopes.
Allardyce, 61, has always been keen on a mid-campaign break, often taking his own team away for a few days, fixture list permitting, insisting it helped save former club Sunderland from relegation last season.
And the Three Lions boss believes introducing one in England would help their chances of performing well in tournaments.
He told talkSPORT: “The benefits are so great – proven statistically by the way – but the Premier League have always said it would be difficult do that, so you have to accept they have looked at it.
“It’s just when you see everyone else across Europe doing it and the so called benefits you’ll get out of it are there for all to see.
“At the back end of the season when the players had an interim break in the middle of the season it means they have got better mental and physical capabilities and have seen the season through and then maybe going onto a tournament for their international team.
“That’s my thinking behind it. I don’t think anybody really realises the benefit of what just a couple of weeks would bring to the players.
“Personally I’ve done it for every team I’ve been in the Premier League with. I’ve made the time to [go away]. We’ve only gone for five or six days to Dubai and chilled the players out, switched them off mentally and physically and when we’ve come back our fitness levels have always increased.
“That’s certainly one of the reasons Sunderland escaped. We went to Dubai in February and then we started monitoring the lads from there and their fitness levels got better and better, which helped us achieve more results.”