City boss right to criticise Preston date, says former physio

Physio Tim Sheppard treats Canaries striker Efan Ekoku.

Physio Tim Sheppard treats Canaries striker Efan Ekoku. - Credit: Archant

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke is right to vent his frustration over the current scheduling nightmare.

This is the view of former Canaries physio Tim Sheppard, who served the club for more than two decades and is more than au fait with footballing injuries.

Sheppard was in charge of the ice bucket and magic sponge for 21 years at Carrow Road, between 1980 and 2001, before moving onto private practice.

Speaking ahead of a well-earned retirement on Wednesday, the 70-year-old has said he sympathises with the City boss, who has spoken of his frustration about the fact his side stand to face Preston North End on Good Friday - less than 48 hours after several players represent their countries around the globe.

He said: "Having an international break just before Easter just doesn't make much sense to me. 

"With players coming back from around the world there will be such a level of fatigue which comes with flying - so to play a game less that two days later is not ideal.

"When you are on a plane you have two big factors affecting you - noise from the plane and vibration - so when you come off you are not properly rested. It's tiring.

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"And if your body is not properly rested it does leave you prone to injury so I definitely think the composition of the team on Friday will probably be different."

Sheppard said the ability to make five substitutions was a small consolation and expects Farke to make full use of them, but still felt the game would have been better postponed.

He added: "If you have played a match then got back on a plane, I really do not think it is feasible for you to play Wednesday, then again on Friday.

"I definitely sympathise with Daniel Farke on that point, he's definitely right to be concerned about the welfare of his players."

The Canaries had made bids to move to game back from Good Friday to Saturday, to allow those returning from international duty the extra day's rest, but these moves were knocked back.

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