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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Wembley pitch is one of the worst, says James Milner

International friendly - England v Egypt
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday, 3 March Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV1, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and online, live text updates on BBC Sport website.

Manchester United played Aston Villa at Wembley
Milner criticised the Wembley pitch after Sunday's Carling Cup final

James Milner says the Wembley pitch is hard to play on and he has experienced better surfaces at lower league teams.

The midfielder played in Aston Villa's Carling Cup final loss there on Sunday and said he hoped it would be better on Wednesday when England take on Egypt.

"You work as hard as you can to get to a final and it's one of the worst pitches you play on all year," he said.

"It was worse than the couple of lower league team's pitches we have played on, to be honest."

Milner added: "Wembley's the home of England. You want the best surface possible and, at the moment, it is not quite there."

The 24-year-old scored Aston Villa's goal in their 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday.

Milner acknowledged that the game had been played after a period of torrential rain but still felt the playing surface was not good enough.


"The Wembley pitch was very difficult to play on. It was slippy, cutting up, and hopefully it can improve because it wasn't good," he added.

"There has been a lot of rain so maybe it was poorer on Sunday than it has been.

"But, when I've played there before, I've never thought, 'this is a great surface'.

"Growing up and watching games at the old Wembley, everyone says it was like a carpet. In a cup final, you want to be playing in a great stadium, which it is, on a great pitch.

"I'm not a groundsman but, if you compare it to somewhere like Arsenal, that is one of the best surfaces you will play upon.

"If they could get it anywhere near the same as that, we'd be well happy."

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see also
Rooney asks fans not to boo Terry
01 Mar 10 |  Football
Aston Villa 1-2 Man Utd
28 Feb 10 |  League Cup
Shawcross named in England squad
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Terry will not lead under Capello
28 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello hopes for Bridge rethink
26 Feb 10 |  Football
Wembley to re-lay turf for finals
24 Apr 09 |  Football
Why is the Wembley pitch so poor?
22 Apr 09 |  Magazine
FA to address Wembley pitch issue
20 Apr 09 |  Football

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