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McLeish: It's the right call.

ALEX McLeish last night accepted the decision to call off Blues match at crisis club Portsmouth.

Referee Anthony Taylor postponed the Premier League clash due to a waterlogged Fratton Park pitch.

McLeish's coaches went to the ground on Friday night when it became clear there could be a problem and reported back that the surface was in a bad state.

"They told me there was no chance, there was an injury risk if we had gone ahead," said the Blues boss. "We have no complaints about the referee's decision."

Ideally Blues would have wanted the game on against the league's basement side considering their impressive 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions. But instead Blues headed back to Birmingham to pack their bags for next week's four-day training camp in Malta.

Quagmire The thawing of recent snow and frost combined with heavy rain on the south coast turned the pitch into a quagmire.

Taylor said four factors were taken into account when he inspected the pitch with his assistants at 10am: "The the safety of the players, the safety of the match officials, if we started the game could we finish it, if we started would periods of the game descend into farce? While every effort was made by the club to ensure the game went ahead, I concluded that the conditions were not conducive for the game to go ahead."

There were areas of surface water on either side of the pitch that Taylor felt would remain and be problematic, even if there had been no further rain.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2010
Words:258
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