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Paatelainen unconcerned as fixture backlog looms

Kilmarnock boss Mixu Paatelainen is not worried about the effects of a possible fixture backlog despite their second Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixture in succession falling foul of the snow and ice currently gripping Scotland. The Rugby Park boss had his players training at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre in Glasgow all week in preparation for the trip to Celtic Park but now the focus will shift to next week's home clash with Hibernian.

"It doesn't cause any problems," the Finn said.

"We trained this week and prepared for the match but our sights are now on our next opponents.

"Nothing really changes. There are no problems but we do realise we have to play somewhere along the line and possibly midweek.

"However, we don't mind. We can play two matches a week - the boys are fit enough."

While undersoil heating means the SPL pitches are playable, the surrounding areas and road conditions have led to most of the postponements during this cold snap.

Paatelainen is surprised at how cold weather in Scotland often debilitates the country.

He said: "I am a little bit (surprised), I must admit. What has happened this week is everyday life over in Finland - now you know how much we suffer over there.

"The climate over there is totally different though - it is much more severe with temperatures at minus 20 and 30, and three or four times the amount of snow you get here.

"But everybody over there is prepared - it doesn't stop anything.

"There are no problems with the roads. We have winter tyres and plenty of equipment to clear the snow.

"But we get snow here as well so perhaps we need to be prepared.

"They are saying this sort of stuff will happen more in the future as well so maybe we need more lorries to shift the snow - and stronger salt to spread about as well.

"It's unfortunate, what's happened this week, and hopefully the people who look after the roads will learn."

Once again the advocates of summer football and winter breaks will come to the fore and the former Hibs manager recognised the validity of their arguments.

"I like summer football," he said.

"The pitches are in tip-top conditions, supporters like it because it is not freezing cold or raining, people can get to the matches in t-shirts and shorts and enjoy the matches so it is different.

"If you don't go to summer football, maybe consider a winter break.

"I would also like that, but when to have it is the question.

"There are plenty of questions like that."

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