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Poyet calls for Premier League mid-season break

Poyet is busy preparing for what he has called a "nightmare" run of 10 games in all competitions from now until the end of next month, starting with Saturday's home clash with Norwich City.

As well as crucial Premier League fixtures against the likes of Fulham, Everton and Cardiff City, Sunderland face an FA Cup third-round date with Carlisle United and a League Cup semi-final with Manchester United.

And Poyet has called for an end to the "craziness" of cramming so many games into such a short period as Sunderland battle to hoist themselves off the foot of the league table. 

"For us, from now to the end of January is going to be a nightmare," Poyet said.

"I'm not complaining but I cannot understand why we don't have a break. It's so simple and so natural everywhere else. We have to stop this craziness.

"It is so many games and times playing and preparing for games, listening, concentrating, getting tired, getting over disappointments, enjoying the happiness of winning.

"The only explanation I've ever had is that we always play on Boxing Day and, I'm a traditional person and think we should play on Boxing Day, but from the 27th, we should be off and then come back in the middle of January for the FA Cup third round.

"I've been in England for 17 years and we've been talking about this for 17 years.

"We are not looking for a winter break to go to Dubai. I want to have a break so the players can relax and get away from football.

"On coaching courses you are taught to play, then analyse the game but we have no time. We are not going to be able to do that because there is no time - it's bang, bang, bang."