Dundee manager backs plastic pitch ban calls ahead of visit to Livingston

Dundee manager Jim McIntyre has backed calls from the PFA Scotland players’ union to ban plastic pitches in the Scottish Premiership.

PFA Scotland announced that all players not currently employed by Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Livingston voted in favour of banning plastic pitches in Scotland’s top flight and Dundee boss McIntyre has thrown his support behind those calls.

“It’s a different surface,” he said.

“I found it fine, but I think at the top level then I don’t think it should be allowed.

“That’s my personal preference on it, but I can understand clubs at the lower levels putting that in because obviously the revenue that it brings.

“You can rent it out and it gives you a bit of extra money so I totally understand the reasons for it, but I think at the top level there is enough revenue to be had that it should be grass pitches.”

For McIntyre one of the biggest problems with plastic pitches is the lack of consistency in how the pitches play.

“My big gripe about plastic pitches is that they are all different,” he said.

“You look at the pitches in our league for instance.

“You look at Kilmarnock’s which is totally different to Livingston’s.

“Having been to Falkirk several times and Queen of the South, which we’ve been on this year, they are all completely different.

“There isn’t one spec that is the same and that is where I have an issue with it.

“If it is going to be allowed then it should be the same spec everywhere.

“People ask you if you are going to train on a plastic pitch leading up to the team that you are playing it on and sometimes I wouldn’t train on it the whole week because my players aren’t used to training on it the whole week.

“And I know there is a difference in terms of how their bodies feel to how they feel by training on a grass pitch because that’s just what they are used to.

“At Queen of the South we had to monitor our training times and we had to watch because it is harder on the body and that’s where I am not a fan of it.

“I wasn’t a fan of it as a player and I’m still not a fan of it as a manager, but I do understand why teams not in the top league have it.”

Meanwhile, Dundee visit Livingston this weekend, who play on a plastic surface, in the Scottish Premiership. McIntyre is hoping to turn recent draws into wins, but he knows that Livingston will provide a tough test.

“Livingston have got a fantastic home record,” he said.

“They have done fantastically well this season and are a real credit to the group.

“We know we are going to be facing a team that you have to win individual battles all over the pitch to give yourselves an opportunity of winning the game.

“They’ve got players who are very good in the final third and can score goals so we’ve got to make sure we nullify that, but equally we want to build on our performances.

“Build on some really strong play in both of our last couple of matches and try and turn that into three points rather than one.”

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