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Sydney FC sign Le Fondre to replace Bobo

Australian A-League
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 By AAP

Allianz Stadium pitch condition under-fire from Sydney FC

Sydney FC players have denounced the standard of Allianz Stadium's pitch and expressed relief it will be re-turfed in time for their A-League semifinal.

Commensurate with heavy cross-code traffic this time of year, the Sky Blues played their final AFC Champions League group game -- a goalless draw with Shanghai Shenhua -- on a bumpy surface.

Polish star Adrian Mierzejewski led the criticism, bemoaning the way it broke up his side's attacking style.

"I believe everyone sees what kind of pitch [there] was today," Mierzejewski said.

"It's not an excuse, of course, because last week was exactly the same and we won against [Melbourne] Victory.

"But with our offensive style we need to play on a good pitch. Every day is 30 degrees so it's not difficult to make a good pitch.

"We have very important games -- a semi and of course Grand Final -- so we expect and I believe we'll play on the good pitch."

Brandon O'Neill
Sydney FC's Brandon O'Neill controls the ball during Tuesday's AFC Champions League match against Shanghai Shenhua.

Before Tuesday night's match coach Graham Arnold claimed the pitch played to Sydney's advantage because his players knew its quirks, but he later conceded it had done his side no favours.

"It's hard to play the combination play we like to play," Arnold said.

"I look forward to the SCG trust re-turfing the whole pitch this weekend."

The re-surfacing will provide a smoother ride for Sydney when they host the lower-ranked winner of this weekend's elimination finals on Saturday week.

However, the NRL will get to it first for next Wednesday's traditional Anzac Day clash between Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra.

It will give ground staff three days to patch it up, significantly longer than the sub-24 hours they had to get it ready for last season's A-League Grand Final, which was held the day after a Super Rugby match.

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