(Reuters) – West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce hit out at the Premier League’s fixture-planners ahead of Sunday’s game against Newcastle United, saying unfair scheduling was pushing his team towards relegation.
West Brom host Newcastle at noon, just 60 hours after Thursday’s 1-0 home defeat by Everton and Allardyce is concerned with the lack of preparation time afforded to his players.
In contrast, Newcastle have not played since their 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday.
“We asked if we could play it next Monday and they (the Premier League) said no,” Allardyce told reporters. “And then what do we have to do? Play at 12 on Sunday.
“Thank you very much, that’s really nice of you at the Premier League, helping us to get relegated, or trying to get us relegated. That’s how it is. You can ask for different dates or times but any one we asked for has been completely ignored.”
Allardyce, who has a reputation for helping struggling teams, is aware of the significance of Sunday’s contest. Second-from-bottom on 17 points after 27 matches, West Brom are nine adrift of 17th-placed Newcastle, who are just above the relegation spots and have a game in hand.
“If we lose we’re 12 points away,” he said. “That would make it as big a task as anybody has achieved to try to stay in the Premier League.”
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)