Bad weather and poor pitches don’t have to stop us playing the right way, says Canaries boss

PUBLISHED: 17:05 12 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:09 12 January 2016

Mark Burke

Mark Burke

Archant

Mark Burke says he will always try to get his Hitchin Town side to play football the right way.

The Canaries boss has overseen a remarkable run of form in recent months as just one defeat in 19 matches has seen Town rise up to third in the Southern Premier table.

And while Hitchin face the daunting task of two games per week for the next two months, another problem has arisen: the state of the pitches.

Hitchin’s game at home to Cheshunt on Monday evening in the Herts Senior Cup was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and up and down the country clubs are seeing the annual deterioration of their playing surfaces.

For a manager who likes to see his side get the ball on the deck, this may have forced a change in tactics to a more direct style of play.

But, Burke says, that is not the case. He wants his players to continue to pick out passes, and practice on the training ground is key to making it work.

“In an ideal world you would all want to play football on perfect pitches,” Burke says.

“You should be playing that way and every game would then be a good game.

“But of course finances dictate and we can’t have the sorts of pitches you see at Premier League level, and you have to change the way you play if you want results.

“But that’s not to say it’s a case of hoofing the ball up. There are areas on the pitch we know that we can play into.”

The Hitchin boss continues: “We know we can play a ball into an area and a player can make a run into that area. It’s not a long ball, it’s a [precise] pass that is going to someone, a team-mate, because you know they will make that run.

“It’s what you do in training, and you can coach them to do that.”

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