Blackpool boss staggered that Newport pitch is allowed

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer says he finds it 'staggering' that the Football League allows rugby games to be played on Newport County's pitch.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer

The poor state of the Rodney Parade surface made for an ugly affair on Saturday, with the Seasiders eventually battling their way to a 3-1 win.

Newport, who share the pitch with rugby sides Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC, have received plenty of criticism, which even led to the Football League sending a drainage expert to inspect earlier in the season.

Before the match, Bowyer had played down any concerns that the pitch could affect his side’s display, but afterwards he failed to hide his frustration.

“I find it staggering that the Football League allow rugby games to be played here,” he said.

“It’s a horrible pitch and they lump it in the box. It comes back and then they lump it back in again.

“They’re fighting for their lives and I can’t knock them for that, but we stood up to it and I’m delighted. We had to do that and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Bowyer’s views echoed those of Hull City manager Marco Silva and Swansea’s Paul Clement, who were highly critical of the KCOM Stadium’s surface for their Premier League clash earlier this month.

Both managers condemned the decision to host rugby league the night before their game.

Bowyer added: “I heard it mentioned in the Premier League, so perhaps they might take that into consideration.

“But we didn’t use it as an excuse – we stated all along that we wouldn’t do that.”

Blackpool clinched a vital three points thanks to a Bright Osayi-Samuel brace and a Mark Cullen penalty, leaving themselves just one point outside the League Two play-off zone.

Bowyer added: “If you look at our goals, it’s a fantastic through ball from Neil Danns to Bright for the first one and it’s a great bit of football from us.

“It’s the same with the second, with Tom Aldred playing it to Kelvin Mellor, Kelvin to Neil Danns and it’s a great run from Bright who is brought down, so they can have no complaints about the penalty.

“And then the goal at the end is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. I thought I was watching Usain Bolt play for us.”