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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Motherwell explain pitch problems at Fir Park

St Mirren played Hearts at Fir Park in the League Cup semi-final
The Fir Park pitch has come in for heavy criticism in the last two seasons

Motherwell are calling for patience and understanding over the continued poor condition of the Fir Park pitch.

The Lanarkshire outfit spent £350,000 in the summer in a bid to rectify the playing surface problems that have dogged the club in recent seasons.

However, the turf has come in for further criticism this term.

Motherwell say sub-zero temperatures have hindered growth and the repeated use of the undersoil heating system has caused the pitch to soften.

In a statement released by the club, general manager Leeann Dempster said: "We completely understand the criticism of our pitch and share the frustration.

"However, I hope that all fair-minded people can see we have taken every possible action to solve the problems of last year.

"The reality of our climate and the time of year we play the games has made it impossible for our new pitch to bed down.

"We are consulting with Greentech about what actions we, and they, should now undertake. We will keep the Scottish Premier League fully updated on our situation.

"Given the facts and the reality of our efforts I would appeal to fans of all clubs to bear with us and for commentators who lead public opinion to contact us to understand the situation so that their comments may be informed."

The pitch has been heavily criticised over the past two-and-a-half years, with Gretna sharing the ground during the 2007/08 season and numerous call-offs in the last two seasons.

In February of last year, Motherwell were handed a suspended fine of £20,000 by the SPL after undersoil heating problems led to the postponement of their match against Hearts in December.

Last week, Hamilton manager Billy Reid was the latest voice to bemoan the state of the Fir Park playing surface.

"Anybody coming here knows that you can't play football on it, so conditions determine how the game goes," said the Accies boss.

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see also
Reid criticises Motherwell pitch
06 Feb 10 |  Motherwell
Steelmen warned over pitch state
12 Feb 09 |  Motherwell
Well action after second call-off
05 Feb 08 |  Scottish Cups

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