Football: O'Neill calls for winter break

Leicester City 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

A MATCH that ended with both sides running on empty prompted the Leicester manager, Martin O'Neill, to add his voice to calls for a reduction in the workload demanded of Premiership players.

After Steve Walsh's header late in the first half had cancelled out Kevin Gallacher's excellent opener for Blackburn, neither side could find the stamina to clinch three points and O'Neill joined his opposite number, Brian Kidd, in arguing that to play twice within 48 hours was becoming too much to ask.

"I've been brought up on Christmas programmes like this one but I'm not a player now and the product we are putting out is different from my day," O'Neill said. "Both of us won on Saturday and four points from two games is not a bad haul, but from our point of view it was disappointing not to win tonight.

"It did not really happen for us and we finished pretty tired. Maybe it is time there was a break in the season at some point, for perhaps 16 to 18 days, so that players can recharge."

Blackburn, unbeaten in five matches since Kidd was appointed manager, could be pleased at least to have passed a test of resilience, even though they suffered another injury when Christian Dailly was carried off with a thigh strain that could keep him out for weeks. They are already resigned to losing Chris Sutton for a lengthy period after he was hurt on Saturday. For their part, Leicester lost Robbie Savage after only seven minutes, the Welshman suffering medial ligament damage.

Blackburn's best spell came in the second quarter of the match. First, Jason Wilcox curled a 25-yard free-kick around the Leicester wall that had Kasey Keller diving at full stretch to his right to save. Moments later, a goal-bound strike from Keith Gillespie struck Walsh's body to Leicester's good fortune.

Leicester, for whom Steve Guppy provided a stream of useful crosses, countered with a well-worked corner routine in which John Filan made a brilliant save from Frank Sinclair.

Ten minutes later, Blackburn went ahead through Gallacher, who dispossessed Matt Elliott and then sent the ball curling over Keller's right shoulder from 25 yards.

Leicester levelled the score within six minutes, Guppy again supplying the ammunition with a left-wing corner that Walsh, at the near post, powered home.

In the second half, a deflected shot by Neil Lennon rebounded off the Blackburn crossbar, but Leicester could not find the legs to secure a winning advantage.

Goals: Gallacher (38) 0-1; Walsh (44) 1-1.

Leicester City (4-4-2): Keller; Sinclair, Elliott, Walsh, Ullathorne; Savage (Zagorakis, 7; Marshall, 72), Lennon, Izzet, Guppy; Heskey, Cottee. Substitutes not used: Taggart, Fenton, Arphexad (gk).

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Filan; Kenna, Peacock, Dailly (Broomes, 19), Davidson; Gillespie, McKinlay, Sherwood, Wilcox; Gallacher, Davies. Substitutes not used: Duff, Johnson, Croft, Fettis (gk).

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).

Bookings: Leicester: Zagorakis, Elliott; Blackburn: Peacock.

Man of the match: Guppy.

Attendance: 21,083.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices