Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slams Alkmaar pitch as 'one of the worst'


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has branded the pitch for Manchester United's Europa League clash with AZ Alkmaar "one of the worst" he has seen.

United will face the Dutch side on an artificial pitch at the Kyocera Stadium, AZ's temporary home after the roof of their stadium collapsed. And Solskjaer has admitted the surface is a concern.

"I'm surprised they've chosen to play on this pitch when I look at it," Solskjaer told a news conference on Wednesday. "I'm used to Astroturf pitches in Norway. It's one of the worst ones I've seen for a long while. It's safe, I'm not saying that, it's just not the newest.

"I'm surprised that in this climate you have to use Astroturf. It's OK when you live in the North Pole like we more or less do in Norway and can't play in March, November or December, but here I'm surprised."

Paul Pogba did not make the trip to Netherlands on Wednesday, instead staying behind in Manchester after suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury during the draw with Arsenal on Monday.

Pogba has not been able to shake the problem he picked up against Southampton more than a month ago and is a doubt for the trip to Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

"After discussions with some specialists we planned, he needs further treatment and rest on his ankle," said Solskjaer, who also revealed Anthony Martial is unlikely to feature at St James' Park as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury. "I probably wouldn't risk him on Astroturf anyway but he needs a rest now."

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