Gus Poyet has already shown a scrooge-like personality this season by instructing his Sunderland players to tone down their Christmas celebrations, but now he wants rid of winter football altogether.

The Sunderland manager has expressed his desire for a fortnight-long break in the winter months.

For us, from now to the end of January is going to be a nightmare," he was quoted by the Daily Mail.

"I'm not complaining but I cannot understand why we don't have a break. It's so simple and so natural everywhere else.

"We have to stop this craziness. It is so many games and times playing and preparing for games, listening, concentrating, getting tired, getting over disappointments, enjoying the happiness of winning.

"The only explanation I've ever had is that we always play on Boxing Day and, I'm a traditional person and think we should play on Boxing Day, but from the 27th, we should be off and then come back in the middle of January for the FA Cup third round.

"We are not looking for a winter break to go to Dubai. I want to have a break so the players can relax and get away from football," he added.

The 46-year-old also explained the positive effect it would have on the England football team, and their progress in major competitions.

"It is the way English football is set so you cannot go against the rules and we just need to adapt. Do I like it? No I don't. Do I think English football needs a winter break? Yes I do.

"It is important we realise at the end of the season there is a World Cup and you need English players to be in the best physically condition, but especially mentally fit because football now is mental."

Sunderland are bottom of the Premier League, with only nine points from 16 games, needing another two points to ensure they don't break Derby County's 'lowest points' record for the top league.

The Black Cats could be playing 12 games in the space of around a month, depending on progress in cup competitions.

They beat Chelsea in their Capital One Cup quarter-final clash last week and now face a two-legged tie against Manchester United for a spot in the final. A crumb of success for a season that doesn't look likely to muster a lot.



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