Robinson: No plastic excuses
Paul Robinson will not use the surface in Moscow as an excuse should England come unstuck against Russia.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 14/10/07 7:13pm
Paul Robinson will not use the artificial surface in Moscow as an excuse should England come unstuck in their Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia.
Steve McClaren's side have been training on a similar pitch ahead of the crucial Group E clash against Guus Hiddink's team.
England know victory would secure their place at the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer, but defeat would hand the initiative back to their opponents.
Five successive 3-0 victories have lifted England into second place and they are five points ahead of Russia, who have a game in hand.
Robinson said: "It will be different. We trained on a plastic pitch a couple of times during the past week, we've got a couple more sessions before we fly out on Monday to Russia and we will train on the actual pitch on Tuesday.
"It's just another element you have to cope with. It will be a tough away trip to Russia and not many of us have played on that type of pitch before.
"But it must be of good quality and we can't be putting excuses in the way about plastic pitches. We've got to go out there, deal with the circumstances and hopefully get a win.
"It is a learning experience for us all. We have done as much research as we can."
Robinson admits he may have to adjust his own game to deal with the conditions in Moscow, but insists he is looking forward to the challenge.
He said: "Maybe as a 'keeper you have to meet the ball before it bounces some of the time. You can't rely on the ball skidding through as it does on grass.
"Maybe the bounce will take a lot of pace off the ball. I think I will have to wear leggings or tracksuit bottoms to prevent the burns and the grazes and to help me to slide.
"It is a new challenge and it is a massive game for all of us. We have put ourselves in a great position now, have won a lot of games 3-0, and we want to finish the job."