Alex Ferguson hopeful Old Trafford pitch will improve after labelling it 'a worry'
Manchester United boss blamed the pitch on Wednesday night for a poor display
Friday 01 February 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson is crossing his fingers that a change in the weather and an easing match schedule will lead to an improvement in the state of Manchester United's Old Trafford pitch.
Ever since Ferguson revealed the pitch had "collapsed" over Christmas, there have been huge concerns over the playing surface.
It was particularly bad during Wednesday's win over Southampton, when Ferguson admitted it was "a worry", and the United boss has confirmed the pitch will be replaced in the summer.
In the meantime, with decent gap between Southampton's visit and the arrival of Everton on February 10, and another nine-day gap after that until Reading arrive for an FA Cup fifth-round tie, Ferguson has been left to hope the usually dire Manchester weather takes a turn for the better.
"We have to hope for better weather and a bit more sun," said Ferguson.
"We've got artificial lights on it all the time which really helps but the more light we get the better it is for the pitch.
"We're changing the whole pitch in the summer but at the moment it's not good."
After enduring a period when they were forced to change the pitch virtually every season, United have gone nine years without ripping it up.
Groundsman Tony Sinclair has in the past been voted United's employee of the year, so successful has he been in sorting out the huge problems inherent in cultivating a suitable playing surface in a stadium that gets very little natural light due to its size.
Now, though, it has reached the point of no return, which considering the number of matches still to be played on it, including a Champions League clash with Real Madrid on March 5, may prove to be a handicap.
"It's definitely a bit worn out," said Ferguson. "The groundsmen work their socks off and Tony Sinclair is as concerned as anyone.
"We've declined to replace the turf because we believe Tony will get it right.
"But there's no question it's still recovering from those two games over Christmas.
"That killed us and it's never been the same since."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove