Pitch will play a part in derby match

AIDY Boothroyd and Steve Tilson have both agreed that the Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch is in a bad state for tonight's Essex derby.Colchester's playing surface has been severely affected by heavy snow, frost and rain over the past two months.

Stuart Watson

AIDY Boothroyd and Steve Tilson have both agreed that the Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch is in a bad state for tonight's Essex derby.

Colchester's playing surface has been severely affected by heavy snow, frost and rain over the past two months.

And after the East Anglian clash with Norwich was played in quagmire conditions, large areas of pitch have had to be patched up with sand in recent weeks.


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U's boss Aidy Boothroyd said: “It's fabulous if you want to grow cabbages and potatoes, but it's not particularly good for football at the moment.

“The groundsman and staff have been working really hard on it and have been doing the best they can, but with the weather we've had and the lack of drainage we are just trying to make the best of what we've got.

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“It's not ideal for the way we want to play, but it's one of those things where you either moan about it or adjust and get on with it.”

Meanwhile, Southend boss Steve Tilson is equally unhappy about the Colchester pitch ahead of tonight's League One encounter.

He said: “It's shocking, there's no two-ways about it. We're going to have to adjust our game to the conditions.

“They play the conditions really well because they get the ball forward early.”

Meanwhile, U's boss Boothroyd has praised both Kayode Odejayi and Ian Henderson following their impressive substitute appearances against Carlisle last Tuesday.

“Throughout his career he's come in and set the world alight. Then - and I don't know if this is the right word - he's got comfortable,” said Boothroyd of his Nigerian striker.

“I thought he was absolutely unplayable when he came on (against Carlisle) though and looked even better than when he first arrived.

“Kay is a player that is going to get better and better here. The coaches we have will develop his strengths and also work on the parts of his game that aren't so strong.”

Speaking of Henderson, he added: “He's like a wasp, he's horrible to play against and he certainly livens up training! He's an all-round good footballer with an aggressive streak.”

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