‘Like playing on a beach’: Manchester United hope to escape ‘horrendous’ Hong Kong pitch injury free

By Marios Papaloizou

Manchester United will have to overcome an ‘absolutely horrendous’ pitch in their final pre-season match in Hong Kong today.

Atrocious weather conditions have meant the pitch has taken a battering in recent weeks as United’s rivals Manchester City found out last week.

City’s Matija Nastasic was stretchered off during their match with Sunderland on the same turf.

United will now be hoping they can get through the match without any injuries and return to Manchester with their squad intact.

Sunderland’s Craig Gardner criticised the rain-soaked pitch following the match with City.

“The pitch was absolutely horrendous,” Gardner told press after the match.

“It wasn’t bad enough for the game to be cancelled but it was soft. It was dead.”

As well as the potential injuries facing players Gardner believes the standard of play is also compromised by the pitch.

“You couldn’t pass the ball forward because it wasn’t rolling properly and you were scared in case you passed it inside in case it stopped rolling,” he said.

“You had no choice but to hit it long.”

Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown has echoed Gardner’s sentiments.

“It’s a bad pitch. If it keeps raining it just gets worse and it was like playing on a beach,” Brown said.

“You think about the pitch under your feet and little sharp turns are hard to do.

“If you take a wrong turn you could twist or do something.”

Despite the concerns over the pitch Manchester United boss David Moyes has said that he has no problem sending his team out to play on it.

“We are used to playing on good surfaces and pitches but there was nothing the people in Hong Kong could do to make the weather any better,” Moyes told press in Hong Kong.

“Players can get injured on good pitches as well.”

Picture courtesy of David Lally, with thanks.

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