Brendan Rodgers wants a hybrid surface at Celtic Park

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has called for the club's board to rip up and replace the Parkhead pitch with a Desso hybrid surface at the cost of around £2 million after claiming the surface was resulting in his team being able to play better away from home.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says the team can play better away from home. Picture: Rob Casey
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says the team can play better away from home. Picture: Rob Casey

The Irishman was scathing about the surface after watching his side failing to hit the heights in a comfortable 2-0 victory over Motherwell.

Claiming the pitch was affecting the way they could perform against defensive opponents, he said: “Whenever you do that, you rely on the speed of the game, the combinations, the quick play, but our players have to deal with a real difficult pitch. Technically they’re having to make sure they take a touch before they get it under control, they can’t play first time.”

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When asked if the pitch was a concern, Rodgers snapped back: “It is for me. When we’re trying to entertain supporters and play a level of game, the pitch is vital. But we’ll get it organised, we’ll get it sorted I’m sure.”

Rodgers said he had asked for a Desso pitch – which is standard at most English Premier League grounds and uses synthetic fibres sown together with the grass – and he expected it to be delivered.

“It’s an old pitch here, so we need to modernise the field,” he said. “We actually go away to some grounds and play better because the pitch is better. This here slows us down.”

Meanwhile, Motherwell manager Mark McGhee revealed that Steven Robinson will rejoin the Fir Park club as his assistant after the Northern Irishman was sacked as Oldham manager last month after only seven months in charge.

“We have been talking about it for a while,” said McGhee of Robinson, previously his Motherwell assistant and before that No.2 to Ian Baraclough at the club. “I just felt with James [McFadden, current assistant] in his role the timing had to be right and I had to feel it was necessary.

“At this moment we are about to go into a period with games against teams we should be competing with.

“I have an international break coming up [as assistant to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan], and might have a suspension coming up so felt it was a good time.

“Everybody knows him, everybody likes him. We were sorry he left [last summer] and glad he is coming back.”