Lambert: Five Subs Would Have Been Common Sense
Friday, 16th Oct 2020 12:24
Town manager Paul Lambert believes English football should have continued with the policy of allowing five substitutes introduced when 2019/20 returned in the summer following its suspension due to the pandemic.
While Leagues One and Two were ended early and settled on points per game, the Premier League and Championship played out their campaigns in June and July with clubs permitted to use five rather than three of their substitutes to reduce the load on players. However, the Premier League and EFL opted against continuing the policy in 2020/21.
The Blues returned to action in September after six months without a competitive game and - along with other clubs - have suffered a number of injuries with sports scientists having anticipated that there would be an increased risk of players picking up fitness problems after such a long break.
In addition, with the season being played out over a shorter period than usual, games are coming thick and fast with Town having eight matches in the next 25 days.
“It’s a crazy situation at the minute and it’s mad,” Lambert said. “I said before, having the EFL Trophy games, it’s mad.
“It’s really a mad situation, there are too many games. You talk about people’s welfare in the game and recovery and everything like that. That’s not looking after players, that’s just cramming everything in to get things finished.”
He says he would have liked the five substitutes initiative to have been continued this season.
“Yes, the thing I was against was water breaks, that’s what I was against,” he said. “Five subs was definitely one to look at.
“Players are in an incredible situation where they’ve been off for six months and are now trying to cram everything in and trying to get games in, and five subs would have been common sense.”
Seven of those eight games are in League One but Lambert dismissed the suggestion that he’d have a better idea of where the Blues are following those matches.
“Not really,” he said. “It’s one game at a time where we are we’re doing really well at the minute.
“We’re doing everything really good. Seven games from now isn’t going to tell me where we are, the end of the season will tell us where we are, and that’s most important.”
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