England Women manager Mark Sampson insists his team will be fully prepared to play on synthetic turf at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
England play their final World Cup qualifier against Montenegro on Wednesday having already sealed their place at the finals with a perfect win record in nine matches in Group Six.
But the build-up to the tournament threatens to be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the playing surface, with nearly 50 top players signing a petition and threatening legal action in protest at the decision to use artificial grass.
Sampson is confident though that his side, who have scored 42 goals and conceded just one in qualifying, will be well-prepared for Canada.
“We’re in a good place in terms of preparation because we’ve got a fantastic facility here at St George’s Park where the groundsman can make sure that pitch is close as possible to the specifics that we are going to face in Canada,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“We have a great opportunity for us to practice on the surface and get familiar with it so there are no surprises for us. We will have played on it over here and the players will be very comfortable with it.”
England defender Alex Scott does not believe the petition will have any effect, adding: “Nothing will change. The decision was for it to be played in Canada. We’re just preparing and looking forward to playing there.
“The ideal situation would be for the World Cup to be on grass, but the situation is out of our hands. We’ve qualified, we are there, and now it’s just about preparing well. That’s why we’ve been training indoors, trying to get used to it and we just have to get on with it.”
SOURCE: Sky Sports, 15/09/2014 (accessed 18/09/2014 at http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9471770/manager-mark-sampson-says-england-women-will-be-prepared-for-artificial-turf)