CHRIS HARDY: Pitch is proving very difficult

A lot has been said recently about the quality and playability of our playing surface.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:05 pm
Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy's column

For no fault of anyone at the club, the pitch has been very difficult to play on in the last few weeks.

It is borderline impossible to get the ball down and play on the surface, so we have had to adopt an alternative approach - which is difficult for me as a manager who likes to play a positive style of football.

As an example, we travel to Hyde United this weekend, who play on an artificial playing surface.

We will have to prepare a completely different game plan and approach to that of the last few games - which is difficult.

Looking at the game itself, I was pretty pleased to take a point, especially after going behind twice.

We have now lost Jake Hackett, who has returned to his parent club Sunderland.

I’d spoken to Kevin Ball at Sunderland and they were prepared to let Jake stay for a longer period of time, but he has decided to go back up there.

Do I think Jake would’ve benefitted more from staying with us and playing more football? Yes.

But having said that, it is his career and ultimately it is his decision what to do and he leaves with our best wishes.

I have been impressed with Jake while he has been with us and told him he’d be welcome to come back if he changed his mind in the near future.

We welcome back Callum Patton to the group this week after he returned to match fitness on loan at North Shields and he will go straight into the squad for the Hyde match.

Dale Hopson is still a couple of weeks off full fitness and we’re hoping to see Brad Fewster return to training with the group in February - but we need to be cautious with him and make sure we don’t rush him back before he is actually ready to get back into action.