Di Canio and Villas-Boas blast 'killer pitch' in Hong Kong

The two Premier League managers, whose sides will take to the hazardous So Kon Po Stadium field on Saturday in the Barclays Asia Trophy, are unhappy with the conditions
The managers of Premier League sides taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong have all expressed concern with the state of the pitch.

Defeated FA Cup finalists Manchester City take on Sunderland in the final of the friendly competition, while Tottenham face South China in the third-place play-off.

The semi-finals of the summer tournament on Wednesday were delayed, and the length of the halves shortened, after heavy rain left the pitch waterlogged and treacherous.

And Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio, who watched Spurs' Jan Vertonghen be stretchered off the field in their mid-week encounter, has led the dissenting voices.

7/2 Emmanuel Adebayor is 7/2 to open the scoring against South China
“I am worried about the safety of my players,” the Italian boss told reporters.

“It is a killer pitch in this weather with injuries, at this stage of the season especially. You can have a slip on a heavy pitch like that, or make not a natural movement, and it can cause a problem.

“I hope that we can do something and play the games. But I hope the rain can stop from now on and maybe we can have a good pitch.”

Having already lost one player to injury, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is also wary of the conditions, and would rather the tournament did not go ahead.

“The conditions are extremely poor and we have already lost one player through injury,” Villas-Boas said.

“I would ideally like to avoid circumstances like this. They are going to be extremely poor conditions and the pitch will be even more difficult for the final. I would prefer not to go ahead, but we are professional and we have come out for this tournament.”

Saturday's matches could yet be called off, with officials set to carry out regular pitch inspections, but the Premier League are hopeful the games will go ahead as planned.

“There will be regular pitch inspections on Saturday,” said a spokesman.

“On Saturday, match officials will make the decision whether to play and consult with the clubs — on Wednesday they knew the rain would clear in 30 minutes. The Hong Kong Stadium pitch is sand-based pitch so it will dry quickly.”