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Rediff.com  » Sports » Redknapp says wrong to use astroturf in Champions League

Redknapp says wrong to use astroturf in Champions League

August 18, 2010 11:14 IST

Harry RedknappArtificial pitches should not be used in the Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said on Tuesday after his side lost 3-2 in their playoff first leg against Swiss side Young Boys.

Tottenham were caught cold on the astroturf surface in the Stade de Suisse, trailing 3-0 after 28 minutes before hauling themselves back into the tie with goals by Sebastien Bassong and Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Redknapp made several changes to his team from the one that started the Premier League match at home to Manchester City on Saturday, afterwards saying that he had not wanted to risk some of his players on the surface.

He also lost Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe during an enthralling tie which is delicately poised going into the second leg in London next Wednesday.

"I couldn't say its a preferred surface," Redknapp told reporters.

"It's a good pitch but you have to get used to playing on it. It's not an excuse.

"I played on astroturf and hated every minute of it. We had it at QPR but we don't have it any more in England and personally I don't agree with it and I don't think astroturf should be used in a competition like this," he added.

Goals by Senad Lulic, Henri Bienvenu and Xavier Hochstrasser seemed to have turned Tottenham's Champions League dream into a nightmare on the slick surface.

"I had a feeling yesterday about today," Redknapp said.

"I had a nasty feeling. I kept looking at the players training on the pitch and they didn't look happy.

"I had four players out because they weren't comfortable on the pitch in training. Aaron Lennon wasn't comfortable, Robbie Keane had a problem with his knee and Tom Huddlestone, the last time he played on astroturf he was out for six weeks," he added.

The FIFA-approved astroturf in the Stade de Suisse, one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums in the world, was laid in 2006 to enable the club to increase revenue by using it for a range of purposes.

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