May 20, 2008 / 11:36 AM / 9 years ago

Ferguson confident about Champions League pitch

3 Min Read

<p>Chelsea fans arrive in Moscow's Vnukovo airport, May 20, 2008. Moscow's Luzhniki stadium will host the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea on May 21.Mikhail Voskresensky</p>

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said on Tuesday he was confident about the state of the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium where his side will play Chelsea in the Champions League final on Wednesday.

"I haven't seen it yet but we have no worries about the pitch," Ferguson told a news conference before the team trained on the eve of the match.

"I think UEFA have done their best and they will guarantee a good pitch.

"I'm delighted they decided to re-lay it. You have to remind yourself that Old Trafford in December and January isn't the best. I think it will be fine."

English groundsman Matt Frost, who oversaw the laying of a new natural grass surface at the Moscow stadium, had told the BBC on Monday he was disappointed with the state of the pitch before European club soccer's showpiece occasion.

Chelsea captain John Terry also said the players would not let any doubts over the state of the pitch concern them.

"I've heard it's not been laid too long and not bedded in but it will be the same for both sides," Terry said at Chelsea's pre-training news conference.

<p>Shaun Wright-Phillips (2nd L) of Chelsea is followed by fans as he takes a walk in Red Square in Moscow, May 20, 2008. Moscow's Luzhniki stadium will host the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea on May 21.Thomas Peter</p>

"As long as we get the right footwear we'll be fine. That comes from today, talking with the kitman and getting the right studs. Then you go in tomorrow in the right frame of mind."

Platini Confident

UEFA president Michel Platini also said on Tuesday he was confident about the surface.

Slideshow (8 Images)

"I think we should wait until the players have trained on it and the coaches have seen it first," Platini said at a news conference. "They are the ones who will decide on the state of the pitch. But I have not heard of any problems so far."

UEFA general secretary David Taylor added: "UEFA officials have seen the pitch and have reported that it is perfectly playable with no problems raised. The only problem is that the colour may not be ideal, but the pitch is playable."

The new pitch has been laid at a cost of about 160,000 pounds with imported grass from Slovakia after an original grass pitch prepared for the final proved unsuitable.

That grass pitch had replaced the usual synthetic pitch at the stadium.

Manchester United and Chelsea both trained on the pitch on Tuesday evening after the teams arrived in the Russian capital on Monday night.

Additional reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Ken Ferris and Sonia Oxley

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