Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Dan Cook slams impending fixture congestion

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Dan Cook has slammed the fixture congestion facing Crystal Palace while speaking on the HLTCO podcast.

It has been a very strange last few days given the events of the past week, while on the football side of things, last weekend’s matches were called off at rather short notice, meaning Palace are guaranteed to have no fixture until the start of October – which signals the start of a truncated schedule.

This is because their clash originally pencilled in for next weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion was called off some time ago due to train strikes around the area. And due to the international break that follows, the Eagles are left with nine games to play from 1st October until 12th November when their season will come to a halt for the World Cup.

Cook has slammed the fixture schedule that now faces Patrick Vieira and Palace.

He said: “That is, as I say, a pretty daunting list of games in such a short space of time. I believe the game that has been called off between ourselves and Manchester United can’t now take place until January, so it’s a fair way to wait for that.

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“It’s frustrating because you want to keep the momentum going, and the fact that we’re not playing a single competitive game now until the start of October really is quite baffling, I suppose, but when it comes alongside the international break, those are the sorts of issues you’re going to have to contend with.”

TIF Thoughts on Palace’s fixture schedule…

The fact that Palace have nine fixtures to complete between October and the World Cup cutting everyone’s season short will very much test Patrick Vieira’s ability to manage his squad, their fitness and also showcase how good the club’s fringe players are.

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This is because with so many games – often with three fixtures within the space of seven or eight days – many players who wouldn’t usually feature may be called upon more frequently, such as Jairo Riedewald, Sam Johnstone, Will Hughes and Malcolm Ebiowei, who are all yet to start a league game this campaign.

It will surely be a test for Palace, but given that three of those four players mentioned above have a decent amount of Premier League experience to their name, their depth should ensure they can finish the first half of this unusual season in good fashion.

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