Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Inspection planned for Monday afternoon

Northern Ireland's clash against Russia at Windsor Park last weekend was postponed

The pitch at Windsor Park will be assessed by FIFA delegates at 2pm this afternoon to check conditions are suitable for Israel to train ahead of tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland.

The scheduled match against Russia was postponed on Friday night and again on Saturday due to heavy snow in Belfast, but conditions have eased significantly in the capital and the Irish Football Association are confident there will be no issues with the playing surface.

Israel are scheduled to train at Windsor Park at 5pm.

The match referee, alongside FIFA officials, will make a planned inspection at 10.30am tomorrow morning - during which time the pitch will be assessed again in line with standard regulations.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill made his own visit to the stadium earlier today and is certain there will be no problems with the pitch.

He said: "I was at the pitch this morning, it's not wet and it's not sticky.

"In fact it's nice and dry and it's as good as it was before the snow was on it.

"The pitch is nice and firm, albeit slightly softer than it was when we trained on it on Thursday but we have no concerns about the pitch at all.

"The groundsman has done a fantastic job."

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