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SWINDON TOWN: Di Canio unhappy with early postponement
PAOLO Di Canio was unhappy at the early nature of the postponement of Swindon Town’s trip to Colchester.
The Robins were due to face the Essex strugglers at the Weston Homes Community Stadium today but saw a second successive League One clash called off because of a waterlogged pitch after an inspection on Friday afternoon.
Di Canio revealed that both Town assistant manager Fabrizio Piccareta and U’s boss Joe Dunne wanted the game to go ahead after casting their eyes over the pitch, while the Colchester groundstaff were confident that - with minimal rainfall predicted in the area in the hours leading up to kick-off - the match could take place.
However, Football Association official Adam Crysell, who inspected the surface, deemed it unfit for purpose after an hour’s deliberation, leaving Di Canio hugely disappointed.
“We always want to play, especially now for the momentum and we were doing very well. Not playing at this moment, especially against a side who at this moment have big difficulty and we have to think about everything, is not fair,” he said.
“Obviously there are rules for the weather but I want to remind the people who decide that sometimes, if there is not incredible storms or maybe five or six days in a row that you there will be very heavy rain, they have to think we live in England. It is not Africa.
“It rains and maybe in the next few weeks it will snow and what will we do? Maybe in April or May when the play-off final is there they will forget we still have to play another four games and maybe we will play in the middle of June.
“No, it is not fair. Especially in the last situation we had a chance, in my opinion, also because Colchester wanted to go through and play because they were sure. The groundsman was there and he said from his point of view, thinking about the weather one day before, everything would be okay.
“The member that the association sent there decided that he knows the pitch and if it starts raining during the game it would become a bad pitch. If we decide what can happen during the game and we stop one day or two days early it’s not very good.
“If there is incredible weather for 24 hours or maybe snow we can understand but there were all the conditions to go through and maybe even wait until today and decide this morning if we had a chance to play.
“We have experience because every day we go to Liddington and there is a lot of water. Even this morning we had a practice match and everything was okay. There wasn’t water on the pitch, the ball rolled well and bounced.
“How many times have we watched English football and at the end the pitch wasn’t really good.
“Fabrizio said to me ‘to be honest, it’s a bit heavy but when I walk on the ground it’s soft but you can’t see the water come out.’ “Thinking that in the next 20 hours they were thinking it would not rain and then start just at the beginning of the game – after half-an-hour or an hour you can imagine that the pitch would not be fantastic for the show but for a prediction with the weather it is a game you can play.
“There wasn’t a risk for the players. At the beginning the referee agreed that they should wait but at the end he wasn’t sure, he made some phone calls to someone, to the referee, and they said after one hour that the game was postponed.
“The groundsman said it would be okay for play even if it is not perfect, so we should have more belief in the people who work on this ground and the club at home. They wanted to go through and try to have a chance to play.”
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