Roeder: We must learn to cope with fixture headache

November 3, 2006

If Newcastle want to be successful they have got to get used to playing every three days, according to manager Glenn Roeder.

Although the fixture list has been cruel to the Magpies, sending them to Sicily just 48 hours before facing Sheffield United in the Barclays Premiership, Roeder admits his side have got to adjust and not complain.

He said: 'It is a big ask to have to play Thursday, Saturday and then Tuesday, but we have got to overcome that.

'The way things are going with the UEFA Cup and Carling Cup, we do have too many games.

'But I wouldn't have it any other way.'

Competing on all fronts would be made a little easier if Roeder could clear out the treatment room at St James' Park.

He was unable to bring seven regular first-team players to Palermo and, although those he did have available secured a brilliant 1-0 win last night, it cannot be ignored that he had four players on the bench under the age of 20.

Furthermore, 18-year-old goalkeeper Tim Krul was thrust into his senior debut.

'It would be helpful if we had a number of more players at senior level,' Roeder said.

'If somebody had picked up a knock tonight, they would not have had time to recover and I am sure there will be one or two players who wake up sore in the morning.'

'They perhaps would be fine for Tuesday, but not Saturday.'

Playing on Sunday may have allowed Roeder's team to recharge their batteries after the exertions in Palermo, but they had no input as to when their fixture with the Blades would be staged.

'It was a schedule already decided in July,' the Magpies boss said.

'Our preparations will be different in that we are staying here in Palermo until Friday evening and will move to a hotel in Newcastle on Friday night.

'It is not ideal playing again in 48 hours, but that is the situation and we will take a positive approach and prepare for the game.

'Once Sky had decided it would be played on Saturday night, that was the end of it and we have to just get on with it.'