'It would have been better if we'd moved the game to Sunday in the first place' - O'Neill on Shrewsbury postponement

The Ipswich Town management team at Shrewsbury Town after the game was postponed.

The Ipswich Town management team at Shrewsbury Town after the game was postponed. - Credit: Pagepix Limited

Ipswich Town's general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill says yesterday's postponed game at Shrewsbury should have originally been moved to today because of bad weather.

Town travelled to Shrewsbury on Friday, only for the game to be scrapped just an hour before kick-off due to concerns about the pitch.

O'Neill said boss Paul Lambert wanted to play the game today instead, but Town decided that wasn't viable because of problems finding a hotel and catering for the players.

He told the club website: “First of all, we are obviously very frustrated that we have travelled all the way down to Shrewsbury only for the game to be called off an hour before kick-off.

Ipswich Town's game at Shrewsbury has been postponed

The scene at Shewsbury yesterday as the game was postponed - Credit: Stuart Watson

“Once we were told it was off, it was Paul and Stuart (Taylor, assistant manager) who brought up the idea of staying over and playing tomorrow.

"We have got fixtures piling up and the last thing we needed was the game to be postponed so we looked at the possibility of playing on Sunday and if we had been in ‘normal’ times, then I think it may have happened.

“But we’re not in normal times, are we. We are living with the restrictions of Covid. The hotel we stayed in on Friday opened up especially for us, brought in staff and food especially for us. It wasn’t possible to have that arrangement at such short notice for tonight.

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"The weather is still freezing all over the country and while it’s forecasted to improve tomorrow, there are no guarantees that the pitch would have been fine.

The covers are brought back out after the game was postponed at Shrewsbury.

The covers are brought back out after the game was postponed at Shrewsbury. - Credit: Pagepix Limited

"So we had no hotel to stay in, no guarantees of the pitch being playable and we would have gone into the game with the players not having trained for two days.

"We spoke about it as a group but Paul understood the reasons why the only viable thing to do was to turn the bus around and go home.

“In hindsight, it would have been better if, knowing the weather forecast, we had moved the game to Sunday in the first place. We could have travelled down today but Shrewsbury were confident the game would go ahead.

“Like I say, it’s been a frustrating day!”     

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