Portsmouth boss Redknapp blasts UEFA over Russian pitch

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has blasted UEFA for allowing Russia to face England on an artificial pitch this week.

"I find it amazing we didn't make more fuss about it - and how UEFA allowed the game to go on there I really don't know," he said. "They certainly wouldn't play a Champions League final on it. They would have to cover it with a grass surface.

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"None of our England players looked comfortable on it. You didn't see much of Michael Owen, did you? It was totally unsuitable for people like Shaun Wright-Phillips and even Steve Gerrard.

"I know Gerrard missed a big chance at 1-0 - but I'm sure that if he had been able to set himself properly for that volley on a grass pitch, he would have scored. His first instinct was making sure he could stand up."

In the circumstances, Redknapp believes England have mitigation for failing to book their place in the finals.

"For our players, it was an entirely different kind of game," he said.

"Steve McClaren, just beaten like that, can't come out afterwards and moan about the pitch - because he will just get 'slaughtered'.

"But I can still remember the bad old days here when you had to go to places like QPR, Preston and Luton, who all had plastic pitches and where you would invariably get smashed."

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