Brendan Rodgers hits out at ‘nonsense’ festive schedule as he confirms Leicester will rest Jamie Vardy

Leicester face the second-shortest turnaround between their Boxing Day match with league leaders Liverpool and their clash with West Ham and Rodgers admits he will have to rest players accordingly

Premier League weekend round up

Jamie Vardy has been told to expect a game off during what Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has described as a "nonsense" festive schedule.

Leicester face an 8pm kick-off on Boxing Day for their top-of-the-Premier League clash with Liverpool at the King Power Stadium, and then go again 45.5 hours later when they visit West Ham.

Only Wolves have a shorter turnaround time - at 44 hours and 45 minutes - in between matches just after Christmas.

The Foxes then complete four games in 10 days with a trip to Newcastle on New Year's Day, before hosting Wigan in the FA Cup on January 4.

"The game is about money now," said Rodgers. "You can't say it's about the welfare of players.

"We're playing at 8 o'clock on the 26th, and then on the 28th we are playing at 5.30pm. You can manage that if then somewhere there is leeway for the players.

"We'll then have a busy January (with Leicester reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals), which is brilliant, that's what you want. You want to succeed and play lots of games, but the players aren't robots. It's not a computer game."

Asked whether the Premier League's leading scorer Vardy, at 32, could cope with the demands of such a schedule, despite his importance to the team with 16 goals this season, Rodgers replied: "No chance."

Appreciating he will have to rotate his squad, Rodgers added: "You cannot risk the fitness of a player.

"You play on the 26th, a high-intensity game against Liverpool, fighting for the result. In football, it's the second day where the players suffer.

"You get that first day of recovery but it's the second day where it's really tough for a player. If we go along that route then the second day, instead of recovering, we're kicking off at 5.30pm at West Ham. It's just nonsense really.

"The players understand where we're at. This is where our squad really comes into it. We can't have the same team playing every single game, because we want to keep the energy in the team as much as we can."

Rodgers also criticised the so-called winter 'break', with each team getting a weekend off in early February.

"It's a 'Let's pretend to have a break'," bemoaned Rodgers, whose second-placed side bid to close the 10-point gap to Liverpool when they visit third-placed Manchester City on Saturday.

"When I was in Scotland (with Celtic), they do it properly. You play a game on New Year's Eve, and then you have a three-week break.

"You have a week to recover, the second week to maybe do some training with your team, and the third for getting ready. The players are then refreshed.

"I don't think this is that at all. It's certainly not a mid-season break. This year they've wanted to do it, and they've had a little play at it. Hopefully next season they can do a proper break."

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in