Paul Doswell's pitch advice for Portsmouth ahead of FA Cup trip to Harrogate

Pompey’s mindset must be right if they are to avoid an FA Cup shock on the artificial surface at Harrogate.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 8:00 am

That is the view of Paul Doswell as the Blues prepare to take on the National League outfit on the 3G pitch at Wetherby Road.

The Hawks boss is familiar with the surface, after giving the go ahead to have it installed at Gander Green Lane during his time at Sutton United.

In fact, the U’s’ 3G pitch is the same that is used by Simon Weaver’s side.

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Hawks boss Paul Doswell Picture: Paul Doswell

Doswell insisted Kenny Jackett’s men will have nothing to worry about pitch-wise in the Cup tie.

But that’s only if Pompey put any pre-match fears over the surface out of their minds.

‘There is concern always about injuries, older players and all the rest of it,’ Doswell said.

‘One thing that Portsmouth will have to do is take that out of their minds.

‘The actual surface is very playable.

‘You can overthink and over worry about the pitch.

‘You don’t need to.

‘You need to go there with a real good mindset.

‘If your mind is geared up to play on it and you’re a footballer, you won’t have any problems.

‘It’s not like the old days at Kenilworth Road at Luton when you literally couldn’t play on it.’

But Doswell feels the Blues may have missed a trick by not training on the 3G pitches at either Sutton or Slough.

Both teams play on the same surface as the one Jackett’s men will face at Wetherby Road.

And Doswell believes it would have provided the ideal preparation for Pompey.

He added: ‘For me, I’d have been training at Sutton’s pitch or somewhere similar.

‘I know that Slough have also got a pitch.

‘I’m assuming that Portsmouth would gone and booked a full-size pitch.

‘The difference is you need to be training on the surface itself.

‘There four or five teams that have got that surface.

‘If I was offering advice, it would have been go to Sutton, Slough or go to someone that has got the same surface.’