Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou speaks out on the condition of Hampden, Micheal Beale follows
Ange Postecoglou has criticised the condition of the Hampden pitch after his team came through a tough test against Kilmarnock in yesterday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final.
The deterioration in the surface was notable during the 90 minutes and even worse during today’s clash between Aberdeen and Rangers in the other semi-final.
Postecoglou predicted the latter would be the case in his post-match comments yesterday and reckons the pitch should be in better shape for these big national matches.
As quoted by The Scottish Mail on Sunday [15/01 print edition, page 115], the Celtic boss said: “You can’t control the weather in Scotland but I’m disappointed in the state of the pitch, I thought it would be better.
“When you come to Hampden it’s a showpiece event and you want the conditions to be the best they can be. Even when I walked out before the game, I was disappointed in the pitch.
“It’s going to be tough for the two teams on Sunday. I’m not sure how much football they’ve had on the pitch or what the situation is. It didn’t have great grass coverage and didn’t hold very well.”
Rangers manager Michael Beale was in agreement with his Celtic counterpart, speaking in his own post-match media conference tonight.
He said [PLZ Soccer]: “The pitch is in a really bad state for what is a showpiece game that players are dreaming and hoping to get to. We need to have better than that.
“I know we can’t control the weather. Do we separate the weekends? That’s for other people to decide but that was a difficult pitch today. We’ve got a good product, we just need to present it in the right way.”
Both camps and both sets of supporters will be hoping for much better from the national stadium next month when the two teams meet in the final.
Not only is it a terrible advert for Scottish football but it causes disruption to the way the game plays out too and injuries undoubtedly become more of a concern.
The Scottish FA must do much better and competition organisers, the SPFL, must seek reassurance and find out what measures are being taken before the upcoming final.
In other news, Joe Hart praises Celtic recruitment after first impressions of new signing.