Sheffield United: Blades set to invest in state-of-the-art pitch

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough (right) takes his team to Notts County this evening � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough (right) takes his team to Notts County this evening � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

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Nigel Clough has explained why Sheffield United will invest a slice of the revenue generated by last season’s FA Cup exploits to lay a new state-of-the-art pitch at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.

Work to install the DESSO surface is scheduled to begin this summer and, speaking ahead of tonight’s visit to Notts County, the United manager insisted it will prove money well spent irrespective of the division last term’s semi-finalists are in.

“Players will always be the most important thing but there’s no point in having good players if they’ve not got something good to play on is there? You will never be able to get the best out of them if they don’t,” Clough told The Star.

“We’re going to do the whole thing. The pitch, the undersoil heating and a few other things too. It’s all going to get a revamp and we think, because we’re a footballing team, we’ll see the benefits of that.

“It’s the same surface Bristol City had and you saw what good nick their pitch was at the weekend. They’ve e played 40 or so games of football and rugby on it already and yet it was still green, there was still grass on it and that enabled us to show some of our best stuff.”

United climbed to fifth after triumphing 3-1 at Ashton Gate and boast games in hand on the four teams above them in the League One table.

DESSO technology, which combines natural grass and artificial fibres, is already employed by clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

“We tried to get one put in last summer,” Clough said. “But because you have to pre-book, we were just a little bit past the cut-off point but we’ve made sure that we are first in the queue now.

“We spoke to the people down in Bristol about it for five minute or so before the game and they were really happy with it.”

“It’s not a criticism of our groundsman whatsoever,” Clough added. “If you look at our pitch, even with the weather we’ve had, it’s far better than most and credit must go to both him and his staff for that.

“But this should help them even more. Help them to do an even better job than the excellent one they are already doing.

“It’s important that you take care of your squad and also the structure of the entire football club as a whole because we all benefit.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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