Nottingham Forest boss Nuno will approve of controversial changes as £33m deal announced

The Football Association have announced a decision to scrap FA Cup replays from next season – a move Nottingham Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo may approve of.

The Portuguese argued replays should be done away with when the Reds were held by Blackpool in their third round tie earlier this season. It meant the club had to cancel plans to go to St George’s Park for double training sessions and team bonding during their winter break.

“Everybody is aware there is a big congestion of games and fixtures are every day. It is something they have to look at,” Nuno said at the time.

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“If you ask me, I think it should be finished on the day – extra-time, penalties and whatever. Allow the players to have a little bit more time to recover. Premier League teams are suffering with that. You know the issues with injuries, and one of the things is the amount of fixtures we are exposed to.”

Forest needed extra-time to get past the Seasiders in the replay at Bloomfield Road. A replay, extra-time and penalties were then required against Bristol City in the next round, before Nuno’s side were knocked out by Manchester United in the fifth round.

The FA have now abolished all replays from the first round proper onwards as part of a new agreement with the Premier League which will see up to an extra £33 million going to grassroots football from the top-flight each season. Replays from the fifth round onwards had already been scrapped, and the FA said the move to ditch them altogether had been agreed “in light of changes to the calendar driven by the expanded UEFA competitions”.

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