Cancellation doesn't mean a day off for Blues

This Is Local London: The waterlogged St James's Park pitch. Photo by Trevor Stroud The waterlogged St James's Park pitch. Photo by Trevor Stroud

WANDERERS’ players were put through an impromptu training session on an Exeter park pitch after their New Year’s Day clash was postponed.

Blues had stopped overnight for their trip to Devon but incessant rain on New Year’s Eve that carried on into the morning of the match left St James’s Park an unplayable quagmire.

That led to manager Gareth Ainsworth and his backroom staff scrabbling round to find somewhere for the players to train in a bid to keep them in shape ahead of Saturday’s home game against AFC Wimbledon.

Ainsworth said: “It was one of those moments where you have to think on your feet. Myself, Lee Harrison and Dobbo jumped in the kit van Stewart Bannister had driven down the night before and started scouring to find any surface we could.

“Today was a working day. We had a schedule and we wanted to stick to it as much as we could, so we found a public park with a few football pitches on. It was quite sodden but we got a good hour out of them. We worked them hard and got what we wanted out of it, which was to get it as close to a matchday as possible.”

The Blues boss added he had no complaints at the postponement: “The rain was torrential all night and into the morning – there was no way the pitch was playable. It’s part of the game. It was a nightmare of a pitch.”

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