Hoping ground work will be plain sailing

ALAN Ferguson is looking ahead to Rod Stewart's concert at Portman Road on July 3 with a certain amount of trepidation.However, Ipswich Town's head groundsman does not envisage the event - which is expected to attract an audience of around 20,000 - causing any problems.

By Elvin King

ALAN Ferguson is looking ahead to Rod Stewart's concert at Portman Road on July 3 with a certain amount of trepidation.

However, Ipswich Town's head groundsman does not envisage the event - which is expected to attract an audience of around 20,000 - causing any problems.

“I have to be honest and say that in an ideal world I would not want the concert to take place,” said Ferguson.

“But I can understand the commercial reasons for staging the event and naturally hope it will be a success - which I am sure it will be.

“I don't envisage any problems, and see it as being a similar scenario as the Sir Elton John concert we staged in 2004.

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“We will use that as a blueprint as the pitch then suffered no ill-effects and we managed to win an award the following season.”

The Elton John concert took place on June 16, and Ferguson will not have so many days to recover this year as the next match pencilled in at Portman Road in on August 6 - five days before the start of the Championship season on August 11.

Ferguson is to travel to St James' Park, Newcastle, for the first Rod Stewart concert of the summer.

“I am told that they will be using the same stage at Portman Road, and going up and having a look will enable me to work out our options,” said Ferguson.

“There will be almost five weeks to work on the pitch after the concert and I don't anticipate any problems that we cannot overcome.”

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