Beck offers “sincere apologies” over pitch row

Poppies boss John Beck
Poppies boss John Beck

Kettering Town manager John Beck has offered his “sincerest apologies” to Milton Keynes Dons after they slammed the state of the Nene Park pitch following the pre-seaon friendly between the two sides at the weekend.

The Poppies held the League One outfit to a 0-0 draw as they continued their encouraging form during the pre-season programme.

But visiting manager Karl Robinson pulled no punches in his assessment of the playing surface.

In the aftermath of the game, Dons boss Robinson said: “We were told it was going to be a good quality.

“The pitch has been immaculate in the past, but today it was nothing short of embarrassing. I told the players to play at 60 per cent. It wasn’t really a performance, more a kick-about in the park, which isn’t good for us.

“It’s not good for our preparation but it’s one of those things.

“I was close to calling it off. When I came out to talk to the referee, I saw how many of our fans were here and felt it would have been unfair to them.

“That pitch, if it was being played in the park, I don’t think it would have gone ahead.”

But Poppies boss Beck has now responded to those comments.

He said: “I have heard what was said and I can understand where they are coming from.

“The fact is we haven’t had a groundsman here and I have only just found out there is an irrigation system at the stadium.

“I am really focusing on watching games and recruiting players because we have only been here for four weeks.

“To be honest, the state of the pitch has been the last thing on my mind.

“I understand that they are a League One club and they want to be getting the ball down on a good surface.

“I can only offer my sincerest apologies and I am sure our pitch situation will be resolved.”

Poppies midfielder David Bridges, meanwhile, played for Chelmsford City in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, although no deal has yet been agreed for the player.

Stay tuned to www.northantstelegraph.co.uk for further Poppies news and don’t miss Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph