Sam Allardyce: Crystal Palace boss says fixture scheduling contributed to defeat

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Palace players are shattered - Allardyce

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce criticised the Premier League fixture scheduling after his "shattered" side were beaten at home by Swansea City.

Palace were playing for the second time in three days and lost 2-1 to Swansea, who had an extra day between matches.

"The lack of energy the players had showed massively," said Allardyce.

"Some people say it's rubbish but it's not - the players were trying 100% but they were not physically able to reach their usual levels."

Angel Rangel scored an 88th-minute winner for Swansea after the Eagles lost 2-0 away at Arsenal on Sunday.

Angel Rangel
Angel Rangel scored an 88th-minute winner as Swansea beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park

Allardyce, who remains without a win in his three games since replacing Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park, admitted he should have made more than two changes from the previous match.

"We struggled to keep up with Swansea - we hadn't recovered properly," added the former England manager. "I should have made more changes but I still don't know the squad too well.

"They are shattered. You can see it with your own eyes, you don't need to be a football manager."

Swansea first-team coach Alan Curtis, who picked the Swans team despite the appointment earlier on Tuesday of new manager Paul Clement, admitted fatigue had been an issue.

He said: "We had 24 hours more rest compared to them and that may have made a difference."

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud scored a 92nd-minute equaliser as Arsenal drew 3-3 at Bournemouth

Allardyce's complaint was matched by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, whose side also had a day less to prepare than opponents Bournemouth, before the two sides played out a 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium.

"We had three or four players we had to play tonight that we had to wait until the warm-up to see if they could play," said Wenger.

"That's the problem with only 48 hours between games - you have to play some players again.

"This complicates the job a lot, but we have to shut up and cope with it."

Wenger's opposite number Eddie Howe also conceded that the schedule had aided his team.

"I'm not going to deny it had an impact," said the Bournemouth boss, whose side took a 3-0 lead before the Gunners fought back with three goals in the last 20 minutes.

A study from BBC Sport showed that Premier League leaders Chelsea, who play at Tottenham on Wednesday, had the most rest during the Christmas and New Year period.

However, Blues boss Antonio Conte said comments from rival managers came because of their lower league positions.

"I can reply that I didn't do the fixtures," said the Italian.

"I think that now they are angry for our position, not for the fixtures. It's normal. This also happens in Italy. It's always because you stay at the top."

Hours taken to complete all three Christmas and New Year matches
Hours taken from the start of a team's first game to the end of their third game
1Chelsea223
2Watford, Crystal Palace201.5
3Swansea199
4Arsenal, Bournemouth198.75
5Stoke172.75
6West Ham172.5
7Man Utd172.25
8Burnley, Everton, Sunderland, Tottenham, West Brom170
9Hull, Man City167.75
10Leicester, Middlesbrough167.5
11Liverpool143.75
12Southampton117

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