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Mancini wants winter break

Roberto Mancini has called for a Premier League winter break in December to keep players fresh for the second half of the season.

England manager Roy Hodgson had criticised clubs on Thursday for treating international breaks as holidays for players.

But Manchester City manager Mancini, who is accustomed to a winter break from his time playing and coaching in his native Italy, believes the answer is to interrupt the packed programme in December.

He is concerned that his players are overworked, but admits City's post-season tour to the United States is a factor.

They face Chelsea in St Louis and New York at the end of May before their England players have to return to face the Republic of Ireland and Brazil in friendlies.

Midfielder David Silva could then spend much of June in South America, playing for Spain in the Confederations Cup.

Mancini said: "I think that, in England, you need to have a break in December for the national team because we play a lot of games. The moment that they decide to give players one week off in December, it will be good for the teams and national team.

"Players don't have the time to recover very well. When we finish the championship, we go [for] one week in New York and, after they come back, some players play in the Confederations Cup and in qualification for the World Cup. That is incredible."

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