Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has resumed his campaign for reform of Premier League fixture scheduling, insisting that the current system has unfairly hindered his team’s battle for top-flight survival.
Allardyce believes Palace might have prevented Christian Eriksen’s winning goal in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham if they, like Spurs, had enjoyed four days’ recovery.
“This cannot go on. You’re putting a team at a severe disadvantage if you allow the opposition more rest time than the other,” he said.
“Had we been fresher maybe we would have closed Eriksen down better. We were fantastic in the first half and matched Tottenham all the way through that time, but that Eriksen wonder goal settled it.”
Allardyce has been a frequent critic of fixture scheduling, arguing in January that staging matches on transfer deadline day risked a distraction and calling his run-in at Sunderland last season “stupid” and “diabolical”.
The former England boss urged his team to put the Spurs defeat behind them by beating Burnley on Saturday, a result that would take Palace to 41 points and, be believes, safeguard their place in the top tier.
“Three points is going to do it,” he added. “Mathematically not quite, but I don’t think you’ll be caught on 41 points.”
Allardyce retains hopes that on-loan defender Mamadou Sakho could play again this season, having suffered a knee injury against Spurs.
He said: “I’d like to think it is not serious and he will get back before the end of the season but I’m not sure.”