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Club News


13 February 2021

"Paul suggested playing on Sunday but it wasn't viable" says Lee after Shrewsbury postponement

Lee O’Neill says it wasn’t a viable option for Town to play Shrewsbury on Sunday after today’s game was postponed one hour before kick-off.

The game survived two pitch inspections at New Meadow before referee Lee Swabey declared areas of the pitch too dangerous to play and called the match off around 2pm after consultation with both clubs.

It was Town boss Paul Lambert that instigated the idea of playing the game 24 hours later and while the EFL were happy for the match to be instantly rescheduled, further investigation by Blues left the Club with no real option but to make the journey back to Suffolk.

“First of all, we are obviously very frustrated that we have travelled all the way down to Shrewsbury only for the game to be called off an hour before kick-off,” Lee, Town’s general manager of football operations, told the Club website.

“Once we were told it was off, it was Paul and Stuart [Taylor, assistant manager] who brought up the idea of staying over and playing tomorrow.

"We have fixtures piling up and the last thing we needed was the game to be postponed so we looked at the possibility of playing on Sunday and if we had been in ‘normal’ times, then I think it may have happened.

“But we’re not in normal times, are we. We are living with the restrictions of Covid. The hotel we stayed in on Friday opened up especially for us, brought in staff and food especially for us. It wasn’t possible to have that arrangement at such short notice for tonight.

"The weather is still freezing all over the country and while it’s forecasted to improve tomorrow, there are no guarantees that the pitch would have been fine.

"So we had no hotel to stay in, no guarantees of the pitch being playable and we would have gone into the game with the players not having trained for two days.

"We spoke about it as a group but Paul understood the reasons why the only viable thing to do was to turn the bus around and go home.

“In hindsight, it would have been better if, knowing the weather forecast, we had moved the game to Sunday in the first place. We could have travelled down today but Shrewsbury were confident the game would go ahead.

“Like I say, it’s been a frustrating day!”     

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