Ronny Deila believes that criticism of artificial pitches is an old fashioned opinion and needs serious consideration in Scotland.
Currently, two top flight teams have a 3G surface, Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park and Hamilton’s New Douglas Park, where Celtic will visit tomorrow (Friday).
The surface is currently banned in the Premier League in England and some have even called for the same to be applied to Scotland’s Premier division.
Deila, says however that he would have no problem with more pitches in Scotland being artificial, provided they are the best quality.
As quoted by the Glasgow Evening Times, he said:
In Norway, half of the top league play on artificial pitches and that has been a positive thing. That is why there have been so many more talented players coming from Norway in the last few years.
My view is that a very good grass pitch is number one and then a very good artificial pitch is number two. What is important is that if we get more artificial pitches in Scotland, they have to be of the best quality.
You also have to treat them in a very good way, the same as natural grass. If not, they get flat, harder and more slippy. It’s normally not a problem here, but every artificial pitch should be watered because that makes the game quicker and more entertaining to watch.
The 40-year-old Norweigan would also welcome a 3G surface at Paradise and complemented the current artificial pitch at Lennoxtown, Celtic’s training ground.
Ahead of Friday’s trip to Hamilton he also noted the difficulty of playing at New Douglas Park due to its quality.
Celtic have already played on the surface earlier this season and won 2-1 with the goals coming from Leigh Griffiths and Dedryck Boyata.
I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I would say yes. It has to be perfect with a proper watering system, but yes. I think it would take a few years to get to that stage.
If we had it at Celtic Park, all the teams could play there. Imagine what Celtic Park could be. You could train there every day, you could be very familiar with it, get perfect circumstances all the time. So there are a lot of positive things.
I think that Kilmarnock is okay if it’s watered. The Hamilton one also should be okay, but it’s slippy. I don’t know why it should be so slippy, it’s not normal. You can see that it’s not the best quality.
The Kilmarnock one and the others, they are better. You have to use money on it if it’s going to be really good. I haven’t seen a top, top, top one. The one we have here (at Lennoxtown) is the best.
Criticism of artificial pitches, and the likelihood that you will get injured easier was rubbished by Deila, who has plenty of experience of the pitches in his homeland when managing Stromsgodset.
I can assure you, there has been a lot of research into that and there’s nothing that says you get more injuries on artificial.
But you need to water the pitch. That’s very important because, if not, you can twist joints, the ball bounces and it has a harder touch, so it’s easy to get twisted. But, if you water it, there is no science that says an artificial pitch is more dangerous.
In my view, that’s very old fashioned in my opinion,” he said. “You don’t get perfect grass all the time in Scotland, so it seems like a good thing, artificial pitches. If you are going to develop talent, it’s so important that you have good surfaces.
Celtic will travel to Hamilton for Friday night’s game with a chance to go nine points clear at the top of the table.