Hull City boss Steve Bruce was already displeased that he wasn’t able to use his Cup-tied new forwards for Monday’s FA Cup match against Brighton & Hove Albion, so when the Tigers’ thrilling 1-1 draw with the Seagulls meant a Monday replay and a jam-packed weekend, well… he had some strong words.
UEFA rules dictate that the replay could not be played on the same day as a Champions League game, so both Brighton and Hull will be following up huge Saturday matches on very little rest.
“I find that ridiculous, I have to tell you,” he said. “Surely we could play on the same night as the Champions League, you would have thought.
“It is quite a bizarre one, isn’t it? For them to say to the FA that we can’t play the same night as they are playing the Champions League.
“I don’t think there will be many tuning out of Barcelona against Manchester City to tune into Hull versus Brighton, no disrespect. But there you have it, they think it’s going to clash. Is it going to be a real problem for them? I somehow doubt it.”
He makes a pretty valid point, considering player safety and selection. If the FA wants its tournament to mean something, and surely it does, then doesn’t it want the best team advancing? Sure the teams are on the same footing rest-wise, but it’ll be a test of endurance rather than skill set.
On Saturday, Hull has a massive relegation six-pointer at Cardiff, while Brighton sits on the edge of the Championship playoff picture but can be caught by Wigan when the two sides tangle. The winner of the replay earns a home match against Sunderland in the sixth round of the FA Cup.