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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 3, 2006

Ferguson slams state of Copenhagen pitch

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on FC Copenhagen over the state of their pitch on Wednesday night.

The Danish minnows scored a surprise 1-0 Champions League win over Manchester United in midweek to keep their own hopes of qualification alive while wrecking the Red Devils' 100% start to Group F.

But Ferguson felt Copenhagen's success was largely due to a churned-up pitch which had been badly affected by a Bruce Springsteen concert on Saturday.

And, while the United manager has ruled out making a formal complaint to UEFA over the matter, he is indignant over the surface on which his team was asked to perform.

'It was a ridiculous pitch and they shouldn't be allowed to play on it,' argued the Scot.

'They had a pop concert on it on Saturday, a league game on the Sunday, then two training sessions and finally you have to play a Champions League game. It is scandalous.

'There is no point saying anything to UEFA. I don't know if they could do anything about it anyway, but you think something should be done.

'In football terms it should not be allowed and it definitely helped them because we are a passing team.'

The defeat also brought to an end United's encouraging seven-match winning run which has seen them rise to the Premiership summit, heading champions Chelsea on goal difference.

Ferguson knows his team will face a stern examination against high-flying Portsmouth at Old Trafford tomorrow, although, with Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs reporting fit from calf and hamstring problems which their manager felt would rule them out of tomorrow's encounter, the Red Devils are in better physical shape than their visitors.

Nevertheless, Ferguson knows he must be wary of the side managed by his old mate Harry Redknapp, who produced a minor miracle keeping the Fratton Park outfit in the Premiership last term.

'Harry is always so relaxed about things,' said Ferguson.

'You never get a knee-jerk reaction from him and that experience is counting in Portsmouth's favour now.

'They really looked like going down last season but once Harry took over, you could smell something was going to happen and he ended up pulling off a fantastic rescue act.'

There appears no likelihood of Portsmouth going down this season either.

A first Old Trafford win since 1957 could move the south coast outfit into third spot, something Ferguson believes even Redknapp could not have predicted when he started investing heavily in his squad this summer.

'Harry has been very clever in the way he has constructed his team,' said Ferguson. 'He has brought in Andy Cole and Kanu, who both have European Cup winners' medals and the additions of Sol Campbell and David James have helped as well.

'Effectively, he has said to his team `I am going places, Portsmouth are going places, are you coming with me?'. The response has been better than even Harry probably expected.'