Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has slammed Bradford City’s Valley Parade pitch as the “one of the worst in the country” ahead of next week’s FA Cup fifth-round clash.
The Uruguayan’s comments come hot of the heels of Bantams boss Phil Parkinson lashing out at the condition of the bogey surface after the 1-1 League One weekend draw with Colchester, revealing his frustration after issuing his concerns to the club’s board a few months earlier about the state of the pitch.
Former Leeds United assistant-boss Poyet added his own take about the state of Valley Parade’s pitch after his side triumphed 3-1 in a replay at Fulham on Tuesday night.
He said: “Maybe we’ll have to play a little more direct. Maybe I’m going to ask the groundsman at our training ground to mash one of the pitches and train on it the week before.
“It’s going to be tough after what Bradford did because they did something incredible (at Chelsea).
“And we are already talking about their pitch, which everyone knows is one of the worst in the country.
“So that is going to make the game different. It won’t be a passing game.
“Maybe we’ll have to play a little more direct. Maybe I’m going to ask the groundsman at our training ground to mash one of the pitches and train on it the week before.
“Bradford can play a bit, I’ve seen them, and I’m sure they’re not happy about the pitch as well. It’s also a problem for them.
“I’ll invite them to come to the Stadium of Light. Our pitch is great. We can ask them to change the venue (of the tie] but I don’t think they’ll accept that.”
Meanwhile, Bradford and Millwall have been fined by the Football Association for failing to control their players.
Both clubs were charged over a fracas during the first half of last month’s FA Cup tie at Valley Parade.
Millwall have been fined £6,000 and Bradford have been ordered to pay £3,000, and both clubs have been warned over their future conduct.