sport

Calderon slams UEFA ruling

Full-back Inigo Calderon has accused UEFA of ignoring the well-being of players as their rules mean Brighton will have little more than 48 hours to recover for Monday's FA Cup fifth-round replay at Hull City.

European football's governing body's controversial regulations prevent top-level domestic matches being played on the same night as European fixtures.

The rules are designed to protect UEFA competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League, but do little to help players as the fixtures begin to pile up.

Brighton and Hull are the victims on this occasion, with the 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium meaning they have to do battle again for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals next Monday, hot on the heels of important league games for both sides on Saturday afternoon.

The promotion-chasing Seagulls host Wigan before making the trip to East Yorkshire, with the scheduling angering full-back Calderon.

"I don't understand," said the Brighton player. "I don't know if it is a rule or something, but it is not common sense.

"Sorry, but it is not common sense to play two days after a game, more travelling away. I don't understand that."

Told the timing is due to UEFA regulations, Calderon puffed his cheeks out and said: "Well, then they don't think too much about the players. I don't like that.

"If you ask someone with common sense and that knows about the physical side, they will know the players will not be ready to play.

"That is when you are even more tired and I don't understand, but if they are the rules then they don't think too much about the players, that is for sure."

Calderon's manager Oscar Garcia was equally unimpressed with the scheduling, while Hull manager Steve Bruce labelled the UEFA ruling "ridiculous".

"The performance of both teams, I can tell you now, won't be the same," Spanish defender Calderon added.

"I think they should think about it a bit more. It is ridiculous like Steve Bruce said, he is spot on.

"They have to look after their players and the fans because I tell you it is not going to be the best performance. Science shows you can't do too much."

Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor echoed those sentiments, admitting "it is not great" to be playing the replay so close to their Premier League match at Cardiff.

The trip to south Wales is vitally important for the Tigers as, despite sitting in 13th place, they are just three points above the relegation zone.

"Cardiff is a big game, massive, especially with everyone down the bottom these last few weeks picking up points," McGregor said.

"It is a massive game and I think we have to play better than at Brighton.

"I think we need to play like we did the last 15 to 20 minutes, some better movement up front playing the ball to feet, causing them problems.

"I don't know if that was because they were tired or because of our movement, maybe us attacking more. Hopefully we can sustain that style of play."