17/12/2011 10:16 +0100 – As snow fell on Wearside with the 59-year-old and his players finalising their preparations for Sunday's Premier League trip to Tottenham, he extolled the benefits of the system he encountered during his time in Scotland. O'Neill said: "My personal view is that I would love to see it happen, even for a week or two because psychologically, I believe when you start off the season, it's pretty long and it gives you something to think about during that time. "Even if it was only for a fortnight, I think psychologically, it would help everyone, that's my view. "When we were in Scotland, I experienced it twice in the five years I was there and one of those years, Celtic reached the UEFA Cup final. I didn't think it was a coincidence myself. "That's my own view. I have always felt that - still play your new year games, still have that, still have the old tradition of playing Christmas and new year, but after the third round of the FA Cup, maybe take a break then. "Psychologically, it would be brilliant for Premier League players, and also as Sir Alex Ferguson says, players get tired at the end of the season and are then expected to play in either the big European Championships or the World Cup. "I think it would help." Spurs boss Harry Redknapp might have wished for a break over the next few weeks after testing his squad to the full with the club fighting for honours on both the domestic and European fronts, although their Europa League adventure drew to a close on Thursday evening despite victory over Shamrock Rovers. Redknapp fielded a much-changed side throughout the group stage of the competition, but O'Neill, who was criticised during his time in charge at Aston Villa for resting key players for a fatal UEFA Cup defeat by CSKA Moscow in Russia in February 2009, understands why he did it. He said: "There was much made when I was at Aston Villa of the fact that we fielded a weakened team in the final 32 in Russia in a game, much made of that. "We were vying at that stage for third or fourth in the Premier League, and it wasn't to say we were in the last eight, there were still 32 teams left in the competition. "We did lose the game and of course, you suffer accordingly. "It was interesting, Harry's comments afterwards saying perhaps, even with the squad he has at his disposal at the moment, that he suggested perhaps if they had gone strongly in every single game in the Europa League that they may well still have qualified, but they might not have won the number of Barclays Premier League games that they have."
Give us a break - O'Neill