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Russell backs Buckley criticism of poor League pitches

UCD boss Martin Russell has backed his rival manager Liam Buckley in his unhappiness with the state of pitches in the League of Ireland.

UCD and St Patrick's Athletic are two of the sides in the league who insist on playing a passing game and they hope to serve up a treat for the Dublin public when they meet in the league at Richmond Park tonight, but Pats boss Buckley earlier this week told the Evening Herald of his disapproval of what he deemed "crap" pitches at Premier Division grounds.

"I have to fully endorse what Liam Buckley said last week about the state of some of the pitches in the league," said Russell, whose side suffered their fourth defeat in seven games at home to Bohemians last week.

"If we want the league to grow in all aspects then we need to look after the surfaces and ensure they are of a higher standard to allow teams to play good football.

"Surely as part of the licensing agreement there has to be a commitment to ensure clubs invest in their pitch.

"It is clearly the most important aspect involved in a football club. If we want the league to grow then we need to address this issue," added Russell, who has promised not to abandon his principles in terms of the way he wants the game played.



REWARD

"We played some good football against Bohs but we didn't get the reward I felt we deserved.

"Following the last game, against St Pats the personnel will change slightly but I believe we are in for an entertaining game with both sides looking to play good football and as ever we will look to grab all three points."

For his part, Buckley is relishing the clash with the Students. "Like ourselves, UCD try to keep the ball on the ground and play attractive football," Buckley said.

"We know that they'll really put it up to us having played against them recently, so it should make for an entertaining game."