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Robertson supports Highland rugby club style surface at Caledonian Stadium

Robertson supports Highland rugby club style surface at Caledonian Stadium

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson says he would support the introduction of a high quality artificial surface at Caledonian Stadium.

During the winter months, Inverness have trained on the 4G surface at Highland rugby club’s Canal Park, which was laid two years ago as part of a £3.5 million revamp that included a new clubhouse.

Robertson has been impressed by the standard of the National 3 club’s surface, insisting it is an improvement on some grass surfaces he has encountered in the SPFL.

Having suffered a succession of home call-offs due to weather last season, Robertson says he would welcome a surface akin to Highland’s at Caley Jags’ home ground.

Robertson said: “In the past it has been looked at here.

“We’ve got a pitch that needs a lot of work done to it because it floods at a minute’s notice. If you get the right artificial surface, and it’s not overused, I would have it here in a minute.

“We have a facility we use at Highland rugby club, which is a new 4G and it’s magnificent. If we were to put down the same surface here, I would advocate that all day long.

“If it’s the right quality of artificial surface, I would rather play on it every day of the week, but that’s the key.

“When you see some of the pitches you play on, in this league and the lower leagues, I would rather play on a FieldTurf pitch more often than not.

“Our colts team had a match against Rothes at Canal Park the other night, and they were raving about the surface.

“There are no bad bounces or slips, whereas when I was manager of East Fife I would go to some of the pitches and they’re rutted and brick-hard.

“Whilst a lot of old-school people, myself included, would take a good grass pitch every day of the week, I think the standard of grass pitches at times can be worse than the plastic ones.”

Robertson still feels there are inconsistencies in the standard of artificial surfaces across Scotland however, adding: “The problem we have got at the moment is we have too many variants. Some clubs have very nice, lush artificial surfaces but some of the others, while they are new, the length of the threads are quite short.

“One or two pitches look like they’ve got too much of the black crumb on it – I think that’s a problem at times.

“If you get the right pitch, most importantly with the right sort of sprinkler system, it’s as good a surface as any to play on. It advocates good passing football, and good technique.”

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