The ongoing Prenton Park problem that Portsmouth will have to overcome at Tranmere

It’s been a well-publicised problem Tranmere have been burdened with this season.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 7:19 pm

And the condition of the Prenton Park pitch will undoubtedly come to the forefront of Pompey’s planning ahead of their trip to the north west this Saturday.

The scenes before Rovers’ FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United last month underlined the ongoing issue they’ve had at that their Wirral home.

Ground staff worked tirelessly to remove water from the pitch to ensure the money-spinning clash went ahead – although the surface did resemble something you’d expect at a Sunday league game.

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Tranmere have been forced to postpone two games this campaign due to the predicament.

The Merseyside outfit’s League One game against Doncaster in October, in fact, goes ahead tonight.

Meanwhile, their FA Cup third-round replay against Watford was also cancelled on the day of the game.

Liverpool Women, who play home matches at Prenton Park, have suffered the same ramifications.

Water on the Prenton Park pitch is removed by members of staff before Tranmere Rovers' FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United last month. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The Reds’ Women's Super League match against Birmingham City on Sunday was the second game in three weeks they had to cancel.

While Saturday’s encounter is highly likely to go ahead, Pompey will have to find a way to adapt if they’re to deliver a club-record ninth successive victory.

Promotion-rivals Ipswich ploughed through the mud to edge a 2-1 win last month.

Tractor Boys boss Paul Lambert admitted he didn’t think the game should have gone ahead because of the pitch's condition.

He told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘I don't think that pitch was playable. I know Tranmere wanted the game on, and all credit to them for trying to get it on, but that's not a football pitch.

‘That far side was the worst. There was so much sand. It's not great for football.

‘The pitch was a leveller. Even the Tranmere lads, if they're being honest with you, would say that. I know they've got to get their games on but that's not good for anybody that.’

Sunderland visited Rovers last Wednesday before their 2-0 loss against Pompey three days later.

Charlie Wyke's 60th-minute effort delivered the Black Cats a narrow 1-0 success and Phil Parkinson hailed how his troops handled the conditions.

He told Chronicle Live: ‘It was always going to be that type of game with the pitch.

‘It was very difficult conditions to play football, it was windy and the pitch was heavy. It was really difficult, but I’m so proud of the boys.’

While Premier League Man United avoid a banana skin and romped to a 6-0 Cup win, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was wary his side needed the correct mindset to overcome the tricky test.

‘You see that pitch and I can understand if players feel I don’t want to play on this,’ the manager told MUTV at the time.

‘We made sure before the game we had the right attitude. Go out there and do the job.’