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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 19:57 GMT
Johnson supports Leicester move
Leicester captain Martin Johnson has called on Tigers fans to recreate Welford Road's "fortress" atmosphere at the Walkers Stadium.

The Tigers and Leicester City football club are in talks which could see both sides play at the Walkers Stadium.

"It's a wrench," said Johnson. "Leaving Welford Road with all its years of tradition and history won't be easy.

"But it's the right move for the club and if everyone gets behind it, it is possible to recreate the atmosphere."

Leicester constantly sell out their current Welford Road home while the Walkers Stadium, home of Leicester City, holds 32,500 people.

Welford Road has become a very intimidating place for opposition teams to win but Johnson said: "Yes, we've had some good results at Welford Road, and it will be different playing our home games somewhere else.

It's the right thing to do for the club to push forward and become the best in the world
Neil Back

"But we need the new stadium to feel like home and that's the challenge that the club and its supporters face - we need to get it right from the start and make Walkers Stadium our new 'fortress' from the word go."

Johnson's Tigers team-mate Neil Back said: "It's a very emotive issue, but if you look at it from a business, commercial and logistical sense - it's a no-brainer. "The fans' support over the years has been fantastic. I hope that wherever Leicester plays, the fans will follow.

"That's a challenge to the fans, really, to make the new stadium a cauldron as well.

"I think there will be a lot of emotion initially, but I believe it's the right thing to do for the club to push forward and become the best in the world.

"As a professional player, you want to play at the best possible facilities.

"In terms of training, we've got the best training facilities of any club side in the world, but we haven't as a ground and the pitch is vital.

"Everyone at Welford Road knows that the pitch cuts up a bit and, as a player, you always enjoy playing on a football pitch as it's a great surface to play on."




SEE ALSO
Leicester plan 'super stadium'
23 Nov 04 |  Sport Homepage


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