Neeskens slams schedule

2012-05-03 14:44
Johan Neeskens (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens has questioned the logic behind the scheduling of knockout fixtures ahead of his side's Nedbank Cup semi-final against Free State Stars in Atteridgeville on Saturday.

Downs were dealt a crushing blow to their title hopes when they lost 2-0 against Kaizer Chiefs in a league clash on Wednesday.

Neeskens said on Thursday that two days to recover for a match was not enough.

“I am still wondering who put these dates, these fixtures, together,” Neeskens said on Thursday.

“I think this logic does not make sense. On Tuesday two teams played, and faced each other.

"Now we're going to face Free State Stars and we played on Wednesday.

"There are two dates - Saturday and Sunday - so for me it is a little bit strange and I don't see the reason why these two teams have to play on Saturday after two days of rest from the league game.”

The Dutch coach conceded that their Free State opponents were in the same boat as his side, and his frustration at the fixtures was directed at the advantage awarded to SuperSport United and AmaZulu in Sunday's other semi-final.

Both United and AmaZulu played their midweek league fixtures on Tuesday, and because their cup clash is on Sunday, they have an additional two days to prepare.

“The other two teams are getting four days rest," Neeskens said.

"Normally we will see the same conditions. It should be the same for every team, but the benefit is with the other two teams.

“If you know about football, the recovery in only two days is very difficult compared with four days.

"I don't know what the reason is, maybe commercialised, or other interests, I don't know, but this is not logical.”

Sundowns player Samuel Julies agreed with the the opinions of his coach.

“Recovery is important for the guys because you have to be fresh every time you play, but if the recovery period is too short, fatigue comes into play,” Julies said.

Asked if his side would be favourites to win their semi-final and go on to lift the cup, Julies insisted it was anybody's competition to win.

“Every team is doing their best so you can't say who the favourite is," he said.

"You'll just have to wait and see when the game ends on Saturday.”

Read more on:    nedbank cup  |  johan neeskens  |  soccer

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