Regulars will know we delivered an exclusive earlier last season on Killie’s diabolical pitch. An Ibrox Noise source delivered footage to you of the carpet that Rugby Park was claiming passed for a surface on which kicking a ball was possible.
That pitch destroyed Jamie Murphy’s season and we don’t know just how heavily he’ll even be involved this season, given he’s a year behind everyone else.
But regardless, even former Killie striker Kris Boyd castigated Rugby Park chiefs over that cheapskate approach.
And finally, finally they listened and replaced it with what looks a much superior surface more in keeping with the standard we’d expect if artificial turf must be used.
Livi and Hamilton both employ this stuff, but their pitches are far superior to the health hazard going on at Rugby Park for seasons. And mercifully a new surface was laid which is far softer, more organic and much more akin to what the more premium types of these surfaces look at and act like.
Don’t forget, we’re not meaning to completely universally smear artificial turf. The MLS is a very high standard these days and their pitches mostly use the same plastic pitch, but the quality is of a truly acceptable level that top-class players like Wayne Rooney and Zlatan are happy to strut their stuff on it.
But Killie’s previously was a mile behind.
Now, it’s a tonne better.
It is absolutely not an excuse on Sunday – it still isn’t real grass, sure, but it’s now a non-issue and if Rangers don’t perform no one can blame the pitch.
We’re hardly big fans of Killie these days, although we’re glad Steve Clarke is no longer there, and that we no longer have to deal with the dangerous Jordan Jones – he was lethal against us – whatever happened to him….
But we will need to be at full pelt to get the win, and this time the pitch is not an issue of contention. At all.