Rock concert not a problem - groundsman

IPSWICH Town head groundsman Alan Ferguson insists it will be no problem to stage a rock concert at Portman Road this summer.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town head groundsman Alan Ferguson insists it will be no problem to stage a rock concert at Portman Road this summer.

Top band the Eagles are scheduled to come to Suffolk on Saturday, June 20, although this is reported to be in doubt over issues about the recovery of the pitch.

“Whatever happens, the pitch will still be a great surface to play football on,” said the award-winning Ferguson.

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“A concert would be an inconvenience I could do without. But I would have no worries about it going ahead.

“We had one bad close-season experience, but this was down to heat stress caused by an exceptionally hot summer rather than the effects of a concert.

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“We would be able to deal with a concert, and I accept that the club conducts its business to maximum effect.”

The pitch is in great condition at the moment with three home Coca-Cola Championship games to come this season.

Tomorrow, Ipswich are away to promotion-chasing Sheffield United with Blades boss Kevin Blackwell yesterday being named Championship manager of the month for March. Blackwell is set to have Danny Webber in his squad after a two-match absence caused by a hamstring strain.

If United avoid defeat, it would mean an eight-match unbeaten in the league, which would represent the best unbeaten run of Blackwell's 13-month tenure.

“It would be another milestone and, like the best away run in the club's history, we keep knocking off these milestones,” said Blackwell.

Alan Quinn and Jon Stead will be going back to their former club, with Quinn set to take the place of the injured Luciano Civelli on the left side of midfield. It will be Quinn's 50th Ipswich first-team appearance since his move from Bramall Lane last year.

Tommy Miller and David Wright are expected to recover from injury in time to play, with Miller set to take over the captaincy if Gareth McAuley fails to make it with a hamstring injury he picked up in the opening stages of Northern Ireland's win over Slovakia on Wednesday.

Moritz Volz is contention for a return, and Alex Bruce will come back if McAuley is out. Jordan Rhodes will be out for ten weeks after surgery on his foot, but there is a chance Jon Walters could be back in action over the Easter period after making good progress with his ankle problem.

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