Hull City manager Steve Bruce is adamant that English football should support Chelsea's bid to win the UEFA Champions League.
Hull host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, a match that has been moved back one day to accommodate a change in Chelsea's fixture list.
Chelsea now play Sunderland on Saturday, giving them more time to prepare for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid.
And although Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was unhappy with the late switch, Bruce had no issues with it – and in fact encouraged more of it.
"I think we should do everything we can to help Chelsea," Bruce said on Friday.
"We don't do that often enough. When it gets to this stage we should help the big teams. It's difficult in our league.
"If we can help Chelsea I have no problems whatsoever and I didn't when they asked me. We want Chelsea to get the final, let's give them every opportunity.
"To ask them to play Sunday and Tuesday? Let's give them all the help they can get."
Bruce also sang the praises of Wenger, who has come under fire after Arsenal's Premier League title bid fizzled out.
The club's trophy drought has stretched to nine years – something Wenger can break when his side face Hull in next month's FA Cup final – but the Frenchman's first priority will be on Sunday, as Arsenal go in search of a win that would keep them fourth.
And Bruce has been left completely staggered by recent criticism of Wenger.
"Just when they needed a big couple of results they got them. You give great credit to the manager," Bruce added.
"It doesn't matter how they got them, they might not have played the 'Arsenal way' against Wigan (in the FA Cup semi-final) last week or against West Ham but they've turned it around and won back-to-back games when they've needed to.
"Just when they needed a couple of results they've got them and how often has Mr Wenger done that?
"For me, the manager gets unfair criticism.
"The guy has done an amazing job for the last 17 years...16 of those in the top four is a remarkable achievement considering he hasn't had the funds all the other big clubs have had.
"He's not everybody's cup of tea but the one thing you must say is his teams play a fantastic way and he's proved to be one of the greats as far as I'm concerned.
"He's not had the spending power of the big, huge clubs in Europe but he's always been competing - semi-finals, finals, the final of the Champions League.
"With his record how we're even questioning him baffles me."
Bruce also said he has no fresh injury concerns, but that forward pair Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long would return to the squad after being ineligible for their FA Cup semi-final win over Sheffield United.
|27||Ahmed El Mohamady|
|Coach: S. Bruce|
for S. Long 46'
for N. Jelavić 69'
for G. Boyd 84'
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