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'No problems' with Town pitch ahead of New Year's Day game
SWINDON Town head groundsman Marcus Cassidy has pledged to give fans their festive football fix on New Year’s Day after the Robins suffered back to back washouts over the Christmas period.
Following the postponement of Boxing Day’s trip to Leyton Orient, in-form Town were dealt another blow when their clash at Colchester United - scheduled for this afternoon - was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Portsmouth are due to visit the County Ground on January 1 and, despite another deluge expected in the region over the coming days, Cassidy is confident that Swindon supporters will not be let down.
He said: “The situation is I’ve been going in all over Christmas and I haven’t been able to do any work to the pitch because it’s just been a little bit sodden. But we’ve improved the drainage so much that the pitch is totally playable, I envisage no problems ahead.
“Looking at the weather forecast we’ve got heavy rain (on Saturday), it’s a real bad day tomorrow. Sunday I’m hoping to get the mower on the pitch and try to get it a little bit flatter and get it playable as much as I can.
“Then Monday there’s a little more rain but Tuesday the weather isn’t too bad either so I envisage no problems whatsoever.”
Cassidy, who has been producing sensational playing surfaces for Town for several years, praised the investment made in the County Ground pitch by the current Swindon board.
When asked whether five years ago the Pompey clash could have fallen victim to the elements, he said: “We had massive issues with the drainage a few years ago but since the new board have come in we’ve invested fairly decently in the pitch and we’ve improved it that much that we’ll have no problems.
“We need to fulfil the fixtures but the County Ground surface’s drainage has improved so much in the last five years. Any rain that comes I don’t expect any problems.”
And Cassidy knows he is not just under pressure from fans to ensure League One action takes place in SN1 on Tuesday. There’s also the small matter of pleasing Swindon’s manager.
“There is a bit of pressure with two games being off,” he said. “Paolo’s going to want the game to be on, he’d demand it was on. Even if it was in wellies I think he’d want it on.”