Chris Sutton slams "horrific" Ross County pitch ahead of Celtic visit
Chris Sutton has stated that he was left unimpressed with Ross County’s “horrific” pitch in Dingwall on his last visit to the Global Energy Stadium.
Celtic will visit County this Sunday in a crucial Scottish Premiership encounter. Victory for the Hoops will take us to within 2 wins of the title, with the countdown well and truly on.
However, there has been plenty of pressure placed on the Hoops in the build-up to the contest. After Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Rangers, it’s clear nothing less than 3 points will be accepted by the support.
But Sutton believes the pitch is going to be a concern and thinks it could force Celtic into a style change on the day.
Speaking via the Record Celtic podcast, Sutton said: “I think Sunday will be a difficult game and I’ll tell you why. The pitch at Dingwall when I saw it a month back, it looked pretty horrific. Celtic like to play a quick passing game and it’s not going to suit that.
“We don’t know whether Giakoumakis is fit or not. I think he’s a big deal for Celtic in these last 5 games or so. I know Kyogo is back in but I think his physicality and how he moves in the box giving Celtic a different dimension, I think is key.
“But I think the game in terms of getting the momentum back, in that respect, if Celtic beat Ross County at the weekend then going into the Rangers game the player swill know that one final push here and the league is done.”
Pitch problems shouldn’t be a barrier for Celtic at this stage of the season
An interesting point that Sutton raises. Especially considering there haven’t been many complaints publicly from anyone within Scottish football about the pitch in Dingwall.
When Celtic visited County in December’s 2-1 win, we can’t truly say the pitch looked like a big issue. It’s not as if we’re heading over to West Lothian to compete on Livingston’s woeful astroturf surface.
Pitch problems shouldn’t even come into the equation at this point. The motivation to get 3 points this weekend should overcome any potential concerns in that regard.
The pitch didn’t cause Celtic problems back in December, the lack of a focal point up top did. Remember, the Hoops went with Liel Abada as the lone striker in that one. That was simply due to the fact both Kyogo and Giorgos Giakoumakis weren’t fit.
Even though Kyogo is back for this one on Sunday, there’s a real desire from supporters to see Giakoumakis make his return. Ange, fortunately, is confident that he will [Celtic YouTube]. So long as we have a physical presence to hit up top, we should see a largely improved performance from the weekend’s loss to Rangers.
And yes, that’s regardless of any issues with the pitch.