VIDEO: Oyston - We’ll win pitch battle

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Karl Oyston is convinced there will be no repeat of last season’s horrendous pitch problems at Bloomfield Road as work continues apace.

The cut-up playing surface in the latter stages of the campaign sparked damaging nationwide publicity and contributed to the club’s battle against relegation, though chairman Oyston acknowledged no decisive action could be taken until the season ended.

Groundsman Stan Raby works on the Bloomfield Road pitch which came in  for criticism from all quarters last season.

Groundsman Stan Raby works on the Bloomfield Road pitch which came in for criticism from all quarters last season.

Now the work is well under way and Oyston believes Pool’s pitch problems are behind them.

He told The Gazette: “Last season was a one-off and we would be very disappointed if we had problems like that again.

“It’s never impossible but it is highly unlikely because action has been taken to eradicate every cause of what happened.

“We knew what we had to do.

“Unfortunately we had to wait until the end of the season to do it, but we have encountered no problems with the work and we should not experience any. It’s looking good.”

The controversial surface has come in for a welter of criticism, a lot of it from rival Championship managers.

Even former Seasiders’ boss Michael Appleton described it as a ‘cabbage patch’ during his term in charge.

The criticism of Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones summed up the feelings of many regardi ng the Bloomfield Road surface.

After the 0-0 draw with Blackpool, Jones said: “It’s absolutely crazy – you’re playing against the pitch as well as the team and it’s an absolute disgrace.”

Besides relaying the pitch, work is being undertaken to deal with all drainage issues and with the equipment required for TV matches.

Oyston revealed the target is to have the surface in top-top condition by late July.

“We will have a friendly against Newcastle which we are working towards but there is no desperate panic.

“Everything is on schedule.”

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