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Artificial pitch? I’d lose half my team, says Tommy Wright

| 23.02.2016

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has claimed that his club will not be installing an artificial pitch at McDiarmid Park anytime soon, saying doing so would mean half his squad would leave.

Concerns over the state of the playing surface at the Perth club have raised questions over whether or not an Astroturf pitch would be more practical but Wright claims it’s a non-starter with his current crop of players.

One player of particular concern is striker Steven MacLean, who already avoids playing on plastic pitches for away games on the advice of club doctors.

Having suffered two serious injuries on the harder turf and recently signed a new two-year deal with the Saints MacLean’s complaints alone are enough for the plans to be deferred.

“The chairman has to consider it in the future but it will not be in for next season because we’ve got Steven MacLean and probably three or four other players who couldn’t play on it week in week out,” Wright told the Daily record.

“In fact, the lads joked that six of them would be getting paid up if we put it down! From a sporting point of view it’s wrong that Steven MacLean is not available for certain games for us on medical advice.”

Wright insists that recent concerns can be put down to a “freakish winter” and claims that although it could be better the McDiarmid Park surface is by no means the worst.

The Saints will travel to Partick Thistle later today to play on a surface that was deemed unplayable on Friday last week and hope to overcome the Jags at 23/10.

The well-rested hosts will hope to use their inadvertent break to their advantage at odds of 13/10, while the draw can be backed at 21/10.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.