England could be found wanting - Jim

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has warned that England could be found wanting at the Luzhniki Stadium tonight.The Blues boss says that Russia have an unfair pitch advantage in the European Championship qualifier in Moscow.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has warned that England could be found wanting at the Luzhniki Stadium tonight.

The Blues boss says that Russia have an unfair pitch advantage in the European Championship qualifier in Moscow.

Magilton played at the arena in Ipswich's 2-1 UEFA Cup victory in 2001, and now his former Oxford United team mate Steve McClaren needs a win to qualify for next year's Euro finals.


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Since Town's visit to Moscow, a field turf pitch - similar to the practice pitch at Portman Road - has been installed to counter the heavy frosts found in Russia for most of the winter months.

“Unless England are fully prepared they could be found wanting,” said Magilton. “It will be a tough ask to adapt to the conditions, and they will be going into the unknown.

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“It will be a completely new ball game for them.

“I played for a good Liverpool reserve side on an artificial pitch at Oldham, and we were hammered 6-0.

“My experience of artificial pitches has all been bad, and you have to adjust in so many areas but mainly passing.

“In this country we have experimented with non-grass surfaces but players have complained of tweaks to their joints, ankles and backs.

“The extra bounce of the ball is another problem and Russia have an unfair advantage tonight. It is something that should be looked at more closely.”

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