REUTERS – Manager Sam Allardyce is planning to take his Sunderland squad to Dubai in February so they can recharge their batteries after their daunting run of festive season fixtures.
The manager said he viewed a trip to a warmer climate as a necessity, given the Premier League’s lack of a formal winter break.
Sunderland are second from bottom in the Premier League table and play Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in their next three games. They have eight fixtures in all competitions before the end of January.
“The Christmas period is relentless. All you do is travel, play, recover, travel, play, recover,” Allardyce told the British media.
“More and more figures (statistics) prove that winter breaks work. My previous teams have had breaks in Dubai for five or six days in February.
“We just get the players relaxed in Dubai. Switch them off and tell them they don’t have to worry about football. Just relax and come back and get ready for the big push at the end of the season.
“In physical terms you get a great benefit. Every team I’ve had has always physically done better, which generally gives you better results. And that’s only a five-day break.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)