Hodgson praises scrapped cup replays

England manager Roy Hodgson praised the decision to scrap FA Cup replays from the quarter-finals onwards as the first step towards a winter break.

Top-flight English clubs are still competing through a hectic festive period while many others, including the Bundesliga, enjoy time off.

The FA announced on Thursday replays would no longer be played in the FA Cup from the last eight onwards.

That decision was applauded by Hodgson, who said it was a step in the right direction.

“It is done to maybe provide that elusive winter break. The break is nothing other than wanting to freshen our minds up,” he said.

“There is no doubt that it is a very positive move, because those replays have often been one of the stumbling blocks to people suggesting we can’t have a break.”

Hodgson praised the Premier League and FA over their discussions for a potential break, saying replays had for so long been the problem.

“There’s been no doubt that one of the stumbling blocks has often been ‘hold on, you have all of these replays and you’re asking us to cut our season down’,” he said.

Hodgson and England are preparing for friendlies against Australia and Portugal ahead of Euro 2016.

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