The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Plastic pitches are not a problem for Aribo


HAVING mastered his touch on the astroturf pitches of south London, Joe Aribo won’t get hung up on the prepondera­nce of plastic pitches in Scottish football.

A quarter of Premiershi­p clubs play on artificial surfaces including yesterday’s Scottish Cup opponents Hamilton and midweek league hosts Kilmarnock.

Rangers have consistent­ly struggled for results at the latter’s Rugby Park home, dropping five league points last term and requiring a stoppage-time header from Connor Goldson to claim the points on the opening day of the current campaign.

As he prepares for his second trip to the Ayrshire ground, former Charlton midfielder Aribo — who netted the second in yesterday’s

4-1 win — refuses to lay the blame on the pitch.

He said: ‘From those previous results you could say it’s the opposition that makes it hard — we can’t use the pitch as an excuse.

‘As you know, sometimes it can suit the opponents but it’s still a flat pitch and we can still play on it. I grew up playing on astro. It was all astro in my area and I didn’t play on grass until I got a bit older.

‘You could say astro is better for a technical player because it’s all on one level. I know it’s hard if it’s 3G but it’s still one level and you’re not going to get a bobble on a pass.

‘There are variations, of course. When the ball bounces, it can stick and when the surface is watered it can skid through. It can take a bit of time to get used to, so we have to be ready.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom