MARK WARBURTON admits to being ‘bemused’ at the Scottish football rule which has allowed Saturday’s Championship opponents Alloa to narrow their pitch by around five yards on both sides.
The Wasps dramatically reduced the width of their artificial playing surface for Falkirk’s visit to the Indodrill Stadium on January 2 in a bid to change their fortunes and climb from the foot of the Championship table.
The tactic, which is only permitted midway through a campaign, was immediately criticised by Bairns boss Peter Houston after his side’s 1-0 win at the start of the year, and Gers manager Warburton has expressed his views on the subject ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
Speaking exclusively to RangersTV.tv, he said: “It’s just my opinion, I’m a bit bemused by that I’ve got to be honest, how you can change the dimensions of the pitch mid-season. I find that quite incredible.
“It didn’t catch a lot of headlines but I’m very surprised by that, I’ve never seen it happen before. It’s not an issue, we’ll deal with it, but I’m amazed it can happen in mid-season.”
Rangers trained on Alloa’s pitch in the build-up to their last game at the Indodrill Stadium on Sunday 16 August 2015.
On that occasion the visitors won 5-1 but will a narrower pitch influence Warburton’s decisions for the game this weekend?
“No not at all,” he replied, “the philosophy never changes, formation won’t change.
“In preparing for the game we will do a lot of tight area work, narrow, looking to penetrate units and split units.
“We won’t concentrate so much on the width because there is no width. But it’s just about us preparing well for the game and there is no problem.
“We deal with the surface, you deal with the weather, whatever, but give yourself the best chance and prepare well.”
The manager continued: “[Alloa] will be a tough team, they are fighting for points, they will be organised, they will be very diligent, resilient and they have the quality as well.
“So it’s another tough test, there are no easy games in the division home or away, so prepare well and deliver the performance.”
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