‘After a minute it’s just going to cut up’ – Lambert says Town will have to adapt for Prenton Park pitch
Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert is ready to name an unchanged side at Tranmere Rovers tomorrow, but admits his team may have to adapt they way they play on the damaged Prenton Park pitch
Tranmere had their FA Cup third round replay against Watford postponed on Tuesday night due to areas of their home surface being rendered completely unplayable due to heavy rain. The Merseyside club have covered the sand-covered pitch with a protective tent, which allows warm air to be blown onto the surface, in the hope of repairing damage caused by the weather.
The Town squad are set to depart for the north west at 1pm this afternoon having, we understand, been told that Tranmere are confident the game will be on. It is, however, currently raining in the Wirral. Ipswich have sold more than 1,000 tickets for the game.
"I don't know (if it could be called off), I don't really get involved too much with that kind of stuff," said Lambert.
"Some of the staff members showed me some pictures of the pitch and things like that but that's the way it is. We'll go up there and play. It's not something we will sit there and worry about.
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"What we don't want is for us to go up there and for the Ipswich fans to travel on the Saturday (and then it gets called off). It's important the decision is made on Saturday morning.
"If they say it's on, it's on and you have to go and play. If the pitch isn't great then you just have to play."
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Asked if his players might have to adapt their preferred passing style of play, the Blues boss said: "We might have to. The pitch will play a good part in it and what it's like and, if it's how I think it's going to be, after a minute it's just going to cut up that's for sure."
With his team having played out a goalless draw on a very heavy pitch at Oxford United on Tuesday night, the Blues boss, who has named a very similar side for the last three league games, was asked if that will be a consideration when he picks his starting XI.
"We'll see how they are this morning and how they feel but I know the team that will start," he said. "I'll go with what I think is the strongest for the way the lads have been playing. If they feel good then they'll be good to go again.
"They've been really good and they seem to have a good understanding with each other. I'm happy with the way the team's going at the minute.
"I don't think you can protect anybody (Because of the pitch). If the lads are in good form they can go again.
"You can't ever blame a pitch for the way it's going to go - you have to play the conditions. When the rain came (at Oxford) they did a good job through the stoppage but that won't be as bad as what we're going into on Saturday."
Kayden Jackson sat out Tuesday night's draw due to a tight hamstring, but Lambert says the striker is available again and that there are no fresh injury concerns.