West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has criticised the decision to schedule league matches after the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup, saying the hectic fixture list devalues football’s oldest competition.
Teams in the Premier League and Championship enter the FA Cup at the third round this weekend, but then have a league match to complete in midweek.
With such little time between fixtures, managers have often opted to make changes in the cup to keep players fresh for the league campaign.
And Pulis believes that more teams would take the competition seriously if the schedules were altered.
“I’m a traditionalist who thinks the FA Cup is the greatest cup competition in world football,” he said ahead of Saturday’s tie against Bristol City.
“It deserves a clear run, so that managers can pick their strongest sides without being concerned about a league match a few days later.”
Pulis also confirmed that he is looking to offload full-backs Sebastien Pocognoli and Cristian Gamboa during the January transfer window with the duo not part of the Welshman’s plans.
“Poco wants to play football, Cristian Gamboa wants to play football, people like that want to play football,” he added. “They want to be involved so if we can get them clubs and it’s right for them and right for us, then they’ll obviously move on.
“They’ve been good lads. They’ve been disappointed having not played, and I can understand that.”
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