McGhee adamant clubs should be allowed to refuse to play on plastic
Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee believes clubs should refuse to play on artificial surfaces as he blamed Alloa’s recreation Park pitch for Fraser Fyvie’s serious knee injury.
The 17-year-old looks certain to miss the rest of the season after suffering cruciate ligament damage during Aberdeen’s 3-0 Co-operative Insurance Cup win at Alloa on Tuesday.
McGhee blamed the artificial pitch for the injury and three others to his players, which proved to be minor, and feels the surface is not conducive to competitive football.
“I think it was avoidable,” said McGhee, whose Clydesdale bank Premier League leaders host Kilmarnock today. “He wouldn’t have had that injury if he hadn’t played on that pitch and we shouldn’t be asked to play on it.
“This is my personal view, we are still establishing how we feel as a club, but players like Fraser who play with such power, when they change direction it’s very difficult to do that on that surface.
“They are great surfaces for training purposes, passing the ball, but for dynamic movement it’s a dangerous surface. When we train at the Aberdeen village, it’s a great facility, but we still have players who have had previous injuries which prevent them from training.
“I left Peter Pawlett out the other night - he wasn’t injured, he simply can’t play on that surface. We were handicapped by not being able to play these players on that surface.”
Artificial surfaces are banned in the SPL but several other clubs in the Scottish Football League, such as Stenhousemuir and Airdrie, also play on artificial surfaces. McGhee wants his club to protest to the authorities if they are drawn away against such a side in the future.
He continued: “What I’m going to advocate, and this is my own personal position, is that we should contact the authorities and protest that we don’t think we should be asked to play on these pitches. If necessary, seek support from other clubs and take it forward that way.”
Mehdi Taouil hopes to play a central role in Mixu Paatelainen’s new-look Kilmarnock side after returning from injury in midweek. The Moroccan came off the bench for the last 20 minutes of the 6-2 Co-operative Insurance Cup triumph over Airdrie, his first appearance since summer hernia surgery..
“I played behind the two strikers in the number 10 position,” Taouil said.
“It is a position I love to play in. I much, much prefer playing in a central position.
“For the team I used to play in wider areas, it was for the team so I was doing it but I really love to play in a central position. He (Paatelainen) said that is one of the positions he is using me in this season and I am happy with that.
“I watched the first two games and I’m happy to see the team is really trying to pass the ball. We did not win the games but you saw on Wednesday that we can score a lot of goals.
“For me that is the way to play football. everybody is enjoying working with Mixu.”