Ross County manager Owen Coyle has dismissed claims a poor pitch contributed to Celtic’s Dingwall difficulties on Saturday.
Only a spectacular goal from Leigh Griffiths with a 30-yard free kick broke County’s sturdy resistance on a tough afternoon for the champions.
Brendan Rodgers and striker Griffiths both claimed a poor pitch played a part in Celtic’s sluggish display, with the Parkhead manager criticising what he claimed was long grass and a bobbly surface.
But Coyle felt that assessment detracted from the quality of County’s performance and was staunch in his support of dedicated groundsman Davie Fraser.
He was also puzzled as to why, if the pitch was un- satisfactory, there had been no mention of it made by Celtic before the match.
The County manager said: “The pitch was fine. When you don’t perform the way you want, which we never allowed Celtic to do, it is an easy thing to throw out there.
“What I would say is the pitch was the same for both teams. We, at times, got the ball down and passed and moved it.
“We have a good surface. At the stage of the year we’re at, the grass is not going to grow any more anyway. We’re not in the middle of spring when the shoots are popping through.
“For me, it isn’t an issue. I think if there was a problem it would have been said before the game and it wasn’t. Brendan and his lads came in after the game, we had a good chat and nothing was mentioned so it is what it is.
“People will always have different opinions on the game, the pitch and everything else, but it played no part in how the game was played.
“The ball was there to pass and move regardless of the surface.
“In this country, we play on a variety of pitches. We went to Kilmarnock on the artificial surface in my first game and won. We got on with it, because that’s what you do. Whatever challenge you undertake, you have to be ready for it.
“I think our groundsman does a fantastic job – he really is a workaholic. It was a cold day and a lot of factors come into play but, for me, it isn’t an issue.”