'Biggest game' - Club chief delivers crucial update on Rochdale v Tottenham controversy
Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy has said that there should be no complaints over the quality of the playing surface ahead of their FA Cup clash against Tottenham on Sunday.
The two sides were drawn against each other after Spurs saw off Newport County and the Dale beat Millwall, both in replays, but there were concerns raised by the Lilywhites over the Greater Manchester club’s pitch.
This led to controversy, with manager Mauricio Pochettino suggesting that playing on the sandy surface would be detrimental to the players’ health amid a risk of injuries, and the League One side confirmed they had plans to relay the turf.
Now Dunphy has revealed the job has been done and the pitch is immaculate ahead of the visit of their Premier League opposition, admitting the issue had overshadowed the actual football.
He told the Press Association, as relayed by BT Sport: “It’s done and it’s beautiful. I was on the pitch last night, it’s like a snooker table. Tottenham will be very pleased when they see it.
“It’s unfortunate that there has been all this talk about the pitch because it more or less took away all the goodness in beating Millwall.
“To have a fifth-round cup tie at home against a very good Tottenham side, I think it’s massive.
“In my memory it’s the biggest game we’ve ever played.”
Spurs come into the clash off the back of their dramatic 2-2 draw away to Juventus in the Champions League in midweek, with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen netting after going 2-0 down, while Rochdale were on the wrong side of a five goal thriller against Bristol Rovers, the 3-2 defeat leaving them rooted at the bottom of England’s third tier.
In other Tottenham news, the club’s 26-year-old is being eyed up by Liverpool amid a host of giants.