Preston North End boss Alex Neil says the Championship needs to restart by June 20 in order to complete the season.
It was revealed this week that the majority of the Premier League are set to resume on the weekend of June 20 – and there is growing noise that will be when Stoke City and Co will be back in the second tier too.
Neil says that he feels the EFL must be fit in with the Premier League, due to the fact that the Championship still has to host play-off matches after the regular season.
“I think we’re probably going to have to start by June 20 to fit it in,” he told Sky Sports News.
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“We’ve got nine league games remaining. I’m not quite sure what the play-offs scenario is going to be, but I think to fit the games in we would need to start on the same weekend as the Premier League.
“I think the Premier League deciding on a date is a massive step forward. What we’ve been searching for as managers is there being a date because if you get a start date you can work yourself back to get your players ready within that period.
“It’s easy to get frustrated because you want to know when your first game is, you want to get your training schedule sorted and the simple fact is those answers can’t be provided.
“I think that’s a little bit frustrating but I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. I don’t think it’s through a lack of effort or through a lack of organisation.”
In a boost to clubs just outside the top six, Neil says he is keen to play on, despite the fact that the EFL’s points per game method of resolving campaigns would leave Preston in a play-off place at the moment.
“We’ve very much looking at the fairness and the integrity of the league so we want to play the 46 games,” he said.
“If we get the chance to play the games, we’ll be ready to play. We’re certainly not trying to halt the season, all the way along we’ve wanted to get back playing so that certainly hasn’t changed.
“We’re in a good position at the moment and if we deserve to be in the play-offs we’ll win enough games between now and the end of the season and if we don’t do that then we don’t deserve to be there.”
First round of Championship fixtures after re-start
Blackburn Rovers v Bristol City
Cardiff City v Leeds United
Fulham v Brentford
Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic
Hull City v Charlton Athletic
Luton Town v Preston North End
Middlesbrough v Swansea City
Millwall v Derby County
Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley
Reading v Stoke City
Sheffield Wednesday v Nottingham Forest
West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City