Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday December 19 2008
Martin O'Neill has spoken about the UEFA Cup clash with CSKA Moscow telling the official site: 'I think the draw is very tough. They won all four games in their group and I think it will be exceptionally difficult. When it comes round, we will give it plenty of thought.'
He also has joined the growing calls from Premiership managers for a winter break like many of our European counterparts get.
'My own view is there should be a winter break. I think it would be a fantastic thing. I believe it would give everyone a lift in January. We had it for a couple of years in the Scottish Premier League and we all got great benefit from it.'
He said it would be great to play the Boxing and New Year Day clashes then have three weeks off, explaining:
'It gives the players a chance to get away with their families. They feel much better for it. It was so beneficial. One of the years when we had the break in Scotland, Celtic went on to reach the UEFA Cup final. I genuinely believe the winter break was of great benefit for us.'
What would we do for those three weeks though, it would be so boring!!!!!!!!!!
On Sky Sports News the Villa boss added about the CSKA game that he thought it would be 'exceptionally tough' adding, 'But it doesn't really matter - we are in the hat and that was obviously the very important issue. But when it comes round - and it is a long time away - we will give it plenty of thought.'
He was also asked about the chances of being forced to play on the dreaded plastic pitch in the Luzhniki Stadium (England fans will remember that place!) 'Well, I assume you have to accept it - I think Celtic played a Champions League qualifying game there and therefore it has been used for matches of that ilk. Obviously England played at the time and so if you are playing on it for an international game of great importance then I assume they could easily go back and play the same again in the Uefa Cup.'
Date:Friday December 19 2008
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