Simon Cowell won't put ''pressure'' on One Direction to reunite after their upcoming extended break.

The 53-year-old music mogul admits he wasn't surprised when the British boyband first approached him about the possibility of taking time off next year because he ''could see they were exhausted.''

The 'X Factor' boss, who has worked with the group since the show's audition process in 2009, told BANG Showbiz: ''I've known for a while that they were going to take this year off. They had to because of their workload. I did what I've always done with the guys and said you make your own decisions and I hope you stay together, but you've got to want to do it yourself so they're smart guys they'll work it out.''

But Simon hopes the 'Drag Me Down' hitmakers will reunite after enjoying a well-earned break.

Speaking at the launch of the new series of 'The X Factor' at the Picturehouse Central cinema in London, he said: ''I hope so, but like I said, it's not going to be because of any pressure from me. It really has to be, like we said in the beginning, this is an opportunity, you won it, and I've always had that attitude with them. They're nice guys and they're loyal so it'll be fine.''

Asked if members Harry Styles, 21, Niall Horan, 21, Louis Tomlinson, 23, and Liam Payne, 21, were overwhelmed by their success, he added: ''Of course. Look, even though they're young that is a gruelling schedule and after a while I could see they were exhausted, so when they said, 'How do you feel about it?' I said, 'Do whatever you want.' Having a year off is going to be a healthy thing.''