Celtic captain Scott Brown has told the Scotsman that the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final with Rangers could be marred by the "bang average" playing surface at Hampden Park.
A whole host of games are set to take place at the national stadium before the Hoops' meeting with Mark Warburton's men on April 17.
Queens Park play their home matches there for a start, while a Petrofac Training Cup final, coupled with the other Scottish Cup semi between Hibernian and Dundee United, will be played there before the Glasgow giants renew hostilities.
The pitch, which was re-turfed just last month, also played host to Scotland's friendly with Denmark during the week, and Brown says that shoddy conditions could make a laughing stock of the famous Old Firm fixture later this month.
“It probably won’t be the best,” he said to the Scotsman. “We just have to accept that every time we come here. Thinking the worst, if you can play on what we did against Rangers last year then you can play on anything.”
“That’s the point, sometimes we’re the laughing stock when it comes to that. That’s part and parcel of the game [here] these days. We can’t keep it in great nick all season because of the weather up here. We have to take that on board but it should be a lot better than it is.
“It [the pitch] was bang average as always. That’s what happens when you play somewhere that’s used week-in, week-out. You don’t see that happen down in England, but that’s football, and that’s good old Scotland for us. A new pitch always takes four to six weeks to bed in and it’s not had that time and it’s always going to be a bit slippy with bit of rain. But it’s a lot better than it was last year at this time.”
Warburton recently shared similar concerns, and hopefully the fans leave Hampden on the day talking about the football rather than what it was played on.
It will be only the second Old Firm meeting in four years, since the Gers dropped down into the fourth tier in 2012.