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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Bolton laying new pitch to save Euro dream

Bolton are ripping up their pitch at the Reebok Stadium in an effort to save their European dream.

Trotters boss Sam Allardyce was less than happy with the playing surface for last night's draw with Charlton, believing it to be some way short of the standard required for top flight football.

Having initially felt the surface was the best ever to be laid at Bolton's relatively new stadium, Allardyce now claims it is the worst.

And, with an FA Cup replay against Arsenal looming on February 14, and a home fifth round tie with Blackburn to come the following week should Bolton overcome Arsene Wenger's men, Allardyce has decided to take decisive action.

Providing the north-west is not hit by the kind of freak bad weather which forced Birmingham to postpone their clash with Leeds last month when their newly relaid pitch proved to be unplayable, Allardyce expects the work to be completed before Bolton take on Fulham on February 11.

'I am glad to say we are changing the pitch because it is not really good enough for Premiership football,' he said.

'It's nobody's fault but the logistics of our stadium makes the grass die rather than grow.

'In the initial stages, it looked as though this pitch was the best we have ever had. In actual fact, it has been the worst.

'We can only go to the experts. Once it is down, you cannot do anything about it.'