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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

'It's one of the worst I've seen': Solskjaer concerned about AZ pitch

The Red Devils will face the Dutch side on an artificial surface in the Europa League tomorrow.

Scott McTominay during United's session today.
Scott McTominay during United's session today.
Image: Getty Images

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed his dismay with the state of the pitch at the temporary home of AZ, calling it one of the worst he has seen. 

United are set to take on the Dutch side in the Europa League on Thursday at Cars Jeans Stadion in The Hague. 

The game is not being held at AZ’s normal home ground AFAS Stadion because a section of the roof recently collapsed.

And Solskjaer has hit out at the artificial pitch at AZ’s temporary home ground, saying he does not understand why a stadium in the Netherlands needed to move away from a grass surface. 

“I’m surprised they’ve chosen to play on this pitch when I’ve looked at it,” Solskjaer said. ”I’m used to it from Norway. It’s not the best I’ve seen.

“It’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen for a long while. We’ve all got standards back home in Norway anyway. It’s safe, I’m not saying it’s not. It’s not the newest.

“It’s just on the floor so on the carpet more or less, so when you pull the grass up you do that loads, there’s more bounce.

“It seems like it’s been used a lot but with my knees, I’ve not enjoyed astroturf anyway.

“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.”

United played on an artificial surface in last year’s Champions League, defeating Swiss side Young Boys 3-0. 

And midfielder Juan Mata has said he and his team-mates will have to adjust to the surface quickly, as the home side will be more used to playing on it. 

“It’s a completely different game [to Young Boys] but we need to start from the beginning ready for them. They’re [AZ] used to playing in these conditions and from the beginning they will be dangerous.

“We will train today to try and adapt to the pitch and hopefully after the game we can not say it was an excuse and we’ve won the three points.”

After defeating Astana 1-0 in their Europa League opener, United currently sit in first place in Group L, two points ahead of AZ and FK Partizan. 

Following Thursday’s game, United will face a quick turnaround when they travel to face Newcastle in Premier League action on Sunday. 

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