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Hearts in race against time

Tynecastle pitch to be dug up and replaced

Ann Budge

Budge: returfing needed now (photo by Terry Murden)

Hearts’ much-criticised pitch is to be dug up and relaid this week, with a promise to have it back in action by next Wednesday.

The playing surface has been described as the worst in the league and came in for particular criticism after the Scottish Cup fifth-round tie with Hibs.

Hearts boss Ian Cathro and his opposite number Neil Lennon were unhappy with the condition of the pitch following the 0-0 stalemate.

Having taken the drastic step to returf, the club now faces a race against time to have the surface ready for Ross County’s visit in the Premiership on 1 March.

Hearts owner Ann Budge said: “As many of you will have seen for yourselves, our pitch has deteriorated badly over the last few weeks.

“We were hoping that it would see us through to the end of this season.

“However, having carefully monitored the issues and having consulted a number of experts in this field, we have taken the decision to address the problem now.

SIS (UK) has been commissioned to undertake the work which starts this week.

“We are assured it will be completed well in time for our next home game against Ross County, on Wednesday, 1 March,” said Budge.

This will be the second time in two years that the surface has been relaid. Budge stressed the latest returfing work will have no effect on the ongoing construction of the main stand.

The Scottish Cup fifth-round replay between Hearts and Hibs is at Easter Road on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

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