Poyet preparing for pitch battle with Bradford

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says facing Bradford City will be tough as 'they did something incredible' at Chelsea (Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire).
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says facing Bradford City will be tough as 'they did something incredible' at Chelsea (Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire).
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BRADFORD CITY and Millwall have been fined by the Football Association for failing to control their players during their FA Cup third-round replay at Valley 
Parade last month.

The Bantams were ordered to pay a £3,000 fine following a breach of rules during a mass brawl in the first half of the club’s 4-0 win over the London outfit on January 14.

The Lions received a heavier £6,000 fine from the FA after the club admitted a charge of misconduct.

Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has slammed City’s Valley Parade pitch as “one of the worst in the country” ahead of next week’s FA Cup fifth-round clash.

The Uruguayan’s comments come hot on the heels of Bantams boss Phil Parkinson lashing out at the condition of the surface after the 1-1 League One weekend match 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 manager Poyet 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.”

Doncaster Rovers are hoping James Coppinger’s ankle injury sustained at Chesterfield is not as bad as first feared.

An inital scan revealed some ligament damage, but Coppinger and the club are keeping their fingers crossed that the injury is not too serious, with the midfielder seeking a second opinion.

Influential Rovers centre-back Andy Butler is in the running to be the Sky Bet League One player-of-the-match for January.

The accolade was won by another Yorkshire centre-half in Bradford’s Rory McArdle last month.

Butler, who joined the club on a permanent basis from Sheffield United early last month, is battling it out with MK Dons star midfielder Delle Alli, Colchester defender Tom Eastman and Scunthorpe forward Tom Hopper.