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Hiddink fears dangerous pitch (

4 mrt 2005 - Source:

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PSV are preparing for the league clash, away against FC Groningen on Sunday afternoon, but PSV manager Guus Hiddink is afraid the bad circumstances in the Groningen Ooster Park may influence or even mar the game. PSV are expected to be at near full strength for the trip to Groningen."We have been in touch with FC Groningen and talked about the condition of the pitch. I have learnt that they need fifty lorries to clear the pitch of snow, after which a decision will be made to play the game after all or postpone it. We are ‘hot’ and we like to play, but the players should not run unnecessary risks. There is no under pitch heating in Groningen. And playing in these wintry circumstances might very well mess things up", explained Hiddink during his customary Friday pre-match press briefing."I am not the one to do the weather forecast”, he continued, “but it does not look like the weather will improve shortly. And the weather forecast for Saturday is not too favourable, either, so I suppose nothing much will change before Sunday. It is important for Dutch football in general that PSV put up some great Champions League performances. And I feel that should be taken into consideration as well. It’s no use playing football on a concrete pitch; it’s not sensible to do so and I would never take the responsibility for that."If the game should be called off, PSV will take the opportunity to have a training session on the pitch of the Eindhoven Philips Stadium on Sunday as part of the preparations for the crucial Champions League tie, away against AS Monaco on Wednesday night. Hiddink was honest when he admitted that he wouldn’t mind the game being postponed.Hiddink praised Robert, who scored three goals on his debut on Thursday night. "OK, it wasn’t the toughest of games and we soon broke their resistance, but I’m glad he’s getting used to our attacking style of play. He is not a stylish striker, but he is hard to dispossess him and he can be a nuisance and tease any defence. He had a bright start."Hiddink did not have much team news. André Ooijer is sidelined, as he is serving a one-match ban. Michael Lamey and Gerald Sibon are doubtful. Jefferson Farfán picked up a knock against TOP Oss, but he will be available. PSV train at De Herdgang training ground on Saturday afternoon and if there is no indication that the game will be postponed, they will travel to Groningen after Saturday’s training session. Hiddink has called up a twenty-man provisional squad, from which two players will have to be dropped.The provisional squad for the FC Groningen encounter:Goalkeepers: Gomes, ZoetebierDefenders: Addo, Alex, Bøgelund, Bouma, Lee, LameyMidfielders: Van Bommel, Cocu, De Jong, Lucius, Van der Schaaf, VogelForwards: Beasley, Farfán, Park, Robert, Vennegoor of Hesselink.