England manager Roy Hodgson suggests mid-season break for the Premier League

Changes would help players perform better on the international stage

Roy Hodgson thinks England's players would perform better on the international stage if a mid-season break was brought in to the domestic calendar.

The debate over whether England should copy the likes of Germany, Spain, France, and Italy by introducing a winter break rears its head every time the Three Lions struggle at a major tournament.

The demands of the Barclays Premier League, two domestic cups, and European competition, mean the idea has yet to be put into practice, but Hodgson is certainly in favour.

"For all us football coaches in England who would dearly love to see our season spread out slightly differently, if you can come up with what we've been saying then we would be very grateful," the England manager was quoted as saying in today's London Evening Standard.

"I find a shorter break now and again is much better than those long breaks. I don't think the best way to keep players fit is to push them through 60 games in eight-and-a-half months and then have three-and-a-half months with no football.

"It might be better if we spread the load a little bit differently and we give them more breaks and certainly a break in the middle of the season.

"I have been on record before saying I am in favour of it but I know there is one colleague working in England who doesn't agree with me. However, it is a complicated subject."

Hodgson knows first hand how long a domestic term can run given that his Fulham side played 63 times in the 2009-10 season when they reached the Europa League final.

Chelsea have played 58 games so far this season, with up to eight more in the offing should they make the Europa League final later next month.

Hodgson said: "The problem is that you have to accept the season you have been given, as frustrating as it is. If you don't take the national team into consideration, most players at the top clubs play 50 games a season.

"If you then add eight or nine games onto that with national team football, you have got 55 to 60 games a season.

"In an ideal world, we would spread our season out better. It wouldn't just be the national team that pay for the sake of those matches. We would also accept that during the other matches, if players need rest then they would get that during the course of the season."

PA

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