Birmingham City head coach Pep Clotet has told the club website that he is happy about the new substitute rules being introduced following the Coronavirus pandemic.

While the Sky Bet Championship may not return despite major discussions to try and get it going, rules have already been changed in order to protect players as best as possible. The International Football Association Board have agreed on a temporary measure where teams will be able to use five substitutions. However there will only be three opportunities to make substitutions, though they will also be able to make changes during half time.

The measure has been brought in because due to the fact no training in groups has happened over the last ten weeks, match fitness may not be the best and the chance of injury is increased. That is why Birmingham Clotet is welcoming the move and is also looking forward to the extra flexibility it will give him in terms of tactics.

Clotet said: “You can be more tactical having the extra resources available off the bench. And of course it gives you more scope if you get injuries during the game as well.

“It provides more possibilities to include players in a game so those on the bench know they have to be focused, be ready.

“Overall I think it is a good move for the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

“I think the risk of injury for players is higher – and that’s for all clubs – because of where we are, the physical demands placed on them.

“It will probably make it seem like pre-season too, if you do constant changes. With the empty stadiums, the weather, and a lot of substitutes it could seem like that.”

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