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Ferguson worried about Old Trafford pitch

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the club will not replace the deteriorating Old Trafford pitch until the summer.

The state of the playing surface came under scrutiny during the Premier League leaders’ 2-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday, with the 71-year-old Glaswegian conceding it was a hindrance.

But after taking advice off groundsman Tony Sinclair, the club have decided to postpone replacing the pitch until the summer as it is hoped it will improve with warmer temperatures and longer gaps between fixtures.

“It’s not good,” Ferguson admitted. “We’re changing the whole pitch in the summer but we’ve got 10 days before Everton now and 10 days before Reading.

“We’re getting more sunlight now as well and that will help in terms of regenerating it. It’s definitely a bit worn out, in my mind.

“On Wednesday there was a lot of water before the game, which helped us in the first half. But in the second it dried out and that made it difficult for us.

“The groundsmen work their socks off. He’s as concerned as anyone and he’s disappointed with how it is at the minute.

“We’ve got 10 days before Everton so hopefully that makes a difference. It’s not been the same since that game against Newcastle and the deluge of rain.

“We’ve had this pitch now for a number of years and it’s been great. If you go back before that we had to renew it maybe once or twice a season. Although that helped it was never perfect. The turf would lift out sometimes.

“We’ve declined to replace the turf at the moment because we believe Tony will get it right. We’ve got the artificial lights on it all the time.

“We also have to hope for better weather and a bit more sun. That really helps. The more light we get the better it is for the pitch.”

Fri 1 February, 2013
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