Mark Warburton speaks on Hampden Park pitch

Rangers boss Mark Warburton questions whether the Hampden Park pitch will be okay to host his side's Scottish Cup clash with Celtic.

Mark Warburton has shared concerns about the quality of the playing surface at Hampden Park ahead of Rangers' grudge match with Celtic in the Scottish Cup later this month, quoted by The Mail.

Both Glasgow giants will renew hostilities for the second time in four years on April 17 as Warburton's troops battle their bitter enemies to secure a spot in the final of the competition.

Debate has raged whether or not the pitch - Queens Park use it for home games - will be suitable for such a showpiece, given that the Gers will also play their Petrofac Training Cup final against Peterhead on it seven days before the Old Firm.

The first semi-final between Hibernian and Dundee United will also be staged at the national stadium on the day before, and although Warburton has not seen it in person, he hopes that it will be of sufficient quality by the time Rangers and Celtic battle it out.

"I haven't seen it, I have seen the pictures. You saw my comments about artificial pitches and everything else before and I took some abuse for that But the fact is the national stadium is really important, to showcase and hold the important matches there. Be it the national team, or semi-finals or finals," he is quoted as saying by The Mail.

"It is really important for the quality of Scottish football, the quality of the product, that you have a suitable playing surface. You turn on the Premier League and you see Leicester City, Norwich City, Manchester United, whoever it may be, but there is the consistency of product, and that is what I think is lacking.

"I am sure the groundstaff will be working diligently, I know they are. But it takes pitches times to bed in. You cannot lay a pitch, give it five days and play three games on it: impossible. Absolutely impossible."


It would be a big shame if the pitch detracted from the occasion, with the showdown set to be just the second local meeting between the sides since Rangers dropped down into the fourth tier in 2012.


Celtic won the last meeting 2-0 - a Scottish League Cup semi-final 14 months ago.

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