IT was all hands to the pump when it came to making sure Pool’s clash with Cardiff went ahead.
After torrential rainfall overnight and in the hours prior to the game, referee Jon Moss was close to calling the contest off.
That prompted emergency action from anyone on hand, with workers at Bloomfield Road even grabbing brooms from the staff canteen to help groundstaff sweep water from the pitch.
After consulting with both Ian Holloway and Cardiff boss Malky Mackay, Moss allowed the game to start, but had there been any more heavy rain the official would have called a halt.
Holloway was pleased the contest got the go-ahead but felt it might have affected his players. He said: “Maybe I should have kept my lads in the dressing room and not let them see the groundstaff sweeping water off the pitch. We were thinking, ‘Is it going to be on?”
“Maybe Cardiff, having made a five-hour journey, wanted the game on more than some of my lads. I had to tell my lot, ‘Sort your lives out’. I’m not saying my lads didn’t want to play – of course they did – and I certainly wanted it to be on.
“I don’t want people travelling that far (from South Wales) and not being able to see a game. I told my lads beforehand that some of the pitches I used to play on were terrible. They are totally spoiled these days, even with our pitch now.
“Some of the pitches I played on, even in the top flight, were like my chicken run at home, so just get out there. “I think they are all too pampered, all too posh, all going, ‘Ooh, look at that’.
“Just get out there and make a battle and a game of it.”