Rangers manager questions Hampden Park pitch relay

Rangers Gates

Mark Warburton has overseen a successful campaign at Ibrox in his first season in charge.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has questioned the decision to relay the pitch at Hampden Park, just a week before the massive old firm Scottish Cup semi-final showdown, as reported by Sky Sports.

The Ibrox club won the Petrofac Training Cup on Sunday with a comfortable 4-0 over League One side Peterhead, and the former Brentford manager spoke to Sky Sports regarding the problematic surface.

"The pitch was difficult," he said. "It was hard to play on. I know a lot of work is going on but you've got to question how a new pitch can bed down in such a short time."

Warburton then went on to say how any form of inclement weather could be disastrous for the bedding in process of the new pitch:

"My concern is if we have any adverse weather on the Thursday and Friday then have Hibs and Dundee United playing on it on Saturday before we play Celtic on Sunday. I'm not sure how you bed in a new pitch in three days' time."

Rangers have already guaranteed promotion to the Scottish Premiership after a magnificent season that has seen them race clear at the top of the Championship. They will look at victory over fierce rivals Celtic en route to Scottish Cup success as the icing on the cake.

Warburton will be concerned that a pitch not fit for his team's style of football will have an adverse effect on their chances of progression, and the Gers boss feels as though by choosing the cheap option the Hampden Park owners have made it more costly for themselves in the long-run.

"How much does it cost to relay the pitch?" he asked. "With the amount of times it is being done, should you not go for the more expensive option in the beginning which proved to be the cheaper option in the long run?"

Rangers go into the game against Celtic having experienced defeat just once in their last 20 games in all competitions.

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