'Horrendous' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips on huge Sunderland problem needing £300K fix
The state of the Stadium of Light pitch is “horrendous” and a “big concern” for Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the 149-time Black Cats striker suggested manager Lee Johnson may have to change his style of play if the pitch does not improve.
Johnson called on the club to invest in the pitch at the Stadium of Light and the training ground if they are to play “attacking, zippy football”.
The 39-year-old was speaking after his side’s 2-1 loss to Plymouth Argyle – his first defeat in charge of Sunderland since their 1-0 loss to Wigan Athletic on the day he was appointed.
But Phillips has warned the state of the pitch could put a dampener on Johnson’s good start to life in the north-east.
He told Football Insider: “A pitch like that is a big concern when you want to play football and Lee likes to play football. I have played and coached against his sides many times and they like to play football.
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“But if you look at the state of pitches at other clubs this week, they have not been much better. The weather has been horrendous. You cannot use that as an excuse but it is not ideal.
“They might have to adapt their style a little bit because they cannot do anything about that now.
“In the summer, you can rip it up and put in a Desso but that would probably only happen if the club gets taken over. It costs £250,000 to £300,000.”
Johnson revealed he expects the club’s takeover by 23-year-old Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to be completed this month.
The process has been ongoing for over a month but the Black Cats boss does not expect any complications.
In other news, Kevin Phillips has tipped Sunderland to seal “two more signings”.