Lee Johnson says Sunderland need to invest after Stadium of Light pitch problems

Lee Johnson says Sunderland need to invest in their pitches after the Stadium of Light turf was badly affected by Storm Christoph.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 10:13 pm

Sunderland's clash with Plymouth Argyle had been in doubt at one stage, with water left standing on the turf.

The pitch then cut up badly through the game as the conditions eased somewhat.

The Sunderland head coach said Plymouth adjusted to conditions better than his side had done, particularly in the opening exchanges.

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Lee Johnson says pitches across the club need to improve
Lee Johnson says pitches across the club need to improve

While clear that better defending and more composure in the final third was the root cause of another frustrating home defeat, Johnson says that investment is needed across the club to help instill his philosophy in the long term.

The head coach hailed the work of the club groundsmen in getting the game on when it had looked in major doubt, but says they need help to do their job.

"We're going to need to invest in pitches," Johnson said.

"That's at the training ground and here. If you want to play that fast, zippy attacking football, and it does slow us down.

"The man of the match today was the groundsman, he was absolutely outstanding to get this game on.

"All of our groundstaff have been brilliant, but they need investment in their area of the club.

"I think it's something that's been dripped and drained away, and it does become an important part of the way we want to play.

"It's everything down to grass level, the details of these things matter to me, it means the balls run truer etc.

"It was difficult tonight."

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