0 Work starts on new St Andrew's surface

Work begins on the new pitch at St Andrew's

LIFE'S a pitch for Blues as the diggers move into St Andrew's.

Work began on the £120,000 relaying of the playing surface at the crack of dawn yesterday.

Specialists ripped up the turf in readiness for the arrival of Wembley's "spare" pitch, which Blues hope will boost their promotion bid.

That is of no consolation for the stricken Nicklas Bendtner, of course, whose ankle gave way on the troublesome soft and uneven surface on Saturday.

But it should at least fill his team-mates with more confidence in the knowledge that the conditions will be sound underfoot at last.

And Blues' attackers will revel in the fact that the ball will roll and bounce truly and not bobble all over the place.

Blues are not alone in having to relay their pitch. Groundsman Martin Kelly was at Chelsea last week to discover how they have fared after carrying out an identical process. Ipswich Town have also completely returfed Portman Road.

The problem at Blues stemmed from an unusually hot summer which resulted in the standard remedial work carried out in the close season having no effect. The roots of the grass didn't "take" and the pitch began to cut up badly.

The surface is expected to have bedded down and be ready for Saturday's visit of Leeds United.

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