JOHN McGINN has flagged up fears over the Hampden pitch before Celtic play at the national stadium at the end of next month.
The champions are due to take on Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday April 30 – only 24 hours after Falkirk and Inverness Caley Thistle have played on the same surface.
It’s a situation which is fraught with anxiety for the Hoops in their quest for the domestic clean sweep.
Manager Ange Postecoglou was highly critical of the underfoot conditions as the holders overcame Kilmarnock 2-0 in the Viaplay League Cup semi-final in January before last month’s 2-1 showpiece victory over the Govan club to return the silverware to Parkhead for a second successive year.
MARKSMAN McGINN…midfielder John McGinn puts Scotland ahead against Cyprus.
Now Aston Villa midfielder McGinn, who claimed his 16th Scotland goal in the 3-0 Euro 24 win over Cyprus yesterday, has added to the concerns over the pitch at the national stadium.
Steve Clarke’s side are now waiting to take on Spain at the venue on Tuesday night in the second of their qualifiers for the Germany Finals.
It took two late goals from substitute Scott McTominay to secure the points against the Cypriots in a far-from-convincing display by the hosts.
McGinn, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “McGinn said: “If we have any excuse it was the pitch – it was really tough to play on.
OOPS…Scotland’s new keeper Angus Gunn manages to claim the ball after a slip as an opponent closes in.
“I remember watching Celtic v Rangers a few weeks ago and it looked the same. It was tough to play on for both teams and it might not suit Spain!
“Hopefully, they water it before Tuesday. It was just tough underfoot and slippy. A lot of the players were falling about, even Big Angus. It was difficult to play our stuff , but, thankfully, we clicked late on and got another two goals.”
There was a heart stopping moment in the first-half when debutant keeper Angus Gunn lost his footing as he came to collect a through pass. Over 50,000 of the Tartan Army caught their breath before the Norwich No.1 managed to bring the ball under control.
Such an occurrence on a dodgy surface could be the difference between triumph and tragedy next month.