Phil Parkinson offers his honest verdict on Tranmere Rovers' pitch as Sunderland monitor the promising weather forecast

Phil Parkinson says the pitch at Prenton Park cannot act as an excuse for Sunderland when they head to Tranmere Rovers.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 4:45 pm

The playing surface has come in for criticism in recent weeks having quickly deteriorated over the winter months.

But Parkinson insists good football can still be played on the pitch, and has urged his players to ensure they play ‘in the right areas’ when they head to Birkenhead.

“It’s not great,” said the Sunderland boss.

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The pitch at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park - where Sunderland play on Wednesday, January 29

“But like I said to the lads today, it’s the same for both teams. Teams have gone there and played football on it - Man United, Ipswich, Coventry.

“It is what it is. We’ve got to go there equipped to deal with it and it’s not a case of you can’t play football, you can play in the right areas.

“We’ve got to look to do that tomorrow.”

The weather forecast in Birkenhead, however, offers some promise for the state of the surface.

While rain was initially scheduled for over 30 hours in the build-up to the fixture - prompting concerns over a postponement - the current forecast looks far more optimistic.

Now, only four hours of rain are scheduled overnight, according to BBC Weather, with Birkenhead set to be largely dry on Wednesday.

Indeed, there is currently no rain forecast during the game either, which should provide hope that the pitch will be somewhat better than its appearance at the weekend.