Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has urged the English Football League to adopt a fairer way of choosing games for live television coverage and Pulis has written to the EFL to express his disappointment.
Boro’s Sky Bet Championship game at Sheffield Wednesday has been brought forward to Friday evening, making the tie all the more difficult for the Teesside club.
Pulis will have just one day to prepare his squad for the fixture, which will be screened live on Sky Sports, due to the number of players who have returned from international duty.
“I think Sheffield Wednesday have had one player away, we’ve had 10,” Pulis told a press conference on Thursday.
“This will be our first day back to do any work, which is one day before the game. That’s the disappointing thing, but we have to get on with it.
“It’s no good crying and moping about it now. The facts are the facts and we’ve put that forward to the bodies concerned in respect of us having a lot of players away and Sheffield Wednesday almost having no players away.
“We don’t feel that’s a fair outcome. In these situations people can look at it a little bit closer and make it a more even match if they want to play it on a Friday night.
“When the lads are away for nearly two weeks it can be difficult and I do hope they look into it.
“I’ve put a letter in and I think they understand where we’re coming from. We’ll see.”
Pulis had yet to check on striker Martin Braithwaite, who has been away with Denmark, while Mo Besic, Darren Randolph, Paddy McNair, Dael Fry and George Saville are among those who have returned from international duty.
Boro will return to the top of the table with victory, while Wednesday are bidding to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.
The Owls, who have climbed up to sixth after one defeat in their last nine league games, will be without striker Fernando Forestieri (hamstring).
Gary Hooper, Sam Winnall, Kieran Lee and Joost van Aken are still out, but Steven Fletcher and Barry Bannan are both available.
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