Celtic's Ronny Deila 'disrespectful' - Rangers' Mark Warburton

Celtic manager Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila has himself criticised artificial surfaces

Rangers' Mark Warburton has accused Celtic's Ronny Deila of being "disrespectful" if he said it is "old fashioned" to only play on grass.

Manager Deila was talking ahead of his game on Hamilton's artificial surface.

Counterpart Warburton had previously called for a ban on such pitches in Scotland's top flight.

"If Ronny did say that - if he did say that - I think that is disrespectful because you are entitled to your opinion," said the Rangers boss.

"The one line from that interview that jumps out for me was 'number one is a good grass pitch, number two is a good artificial pitch'.

"If you are happy to accept second best then go for the artificial pitch.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton thinks Deila's other comments backed up his argument

"If you want to set the highest standards then you go for the best quality grass pitch.

"That, for me, was the one sentence that summed it up."

Warburton had entered the debate after Martyn Waghorn picked up an injury on Kilmarnock's artificial surface that could sideline Rangers' top scorer for the rest of the season.

While Deila told newspapers on Wednesday that he prefers a good quality grass pitch to an artificial one, he said he had nothing against artificial pitches as long as they were good quality.

However, he repeated the criticism he made of New Douglas Park after his side won 2-1 there in October, saying it was "slippy".

However, Accies player-manager Martin Canning refutes the notion that players are more susceptible to injury when they are playing on artificial surfaces rather than grass.

"We train on it every day and I've never noticed that it's slippy," Canning said.

"I watched the game that Celtic played at Dundee United and Gavin Gunning slipped when Leigh Griffiths ran through and scored, so I don't think the pitch is any more slippy than a wet grass pitch. You just deal with the conditions."

Hamilton Accies manager Martin Canning
Martin Canning has again defended Hamilton's artificial surface

Canning believes that Hamilton's surface it is better than many grass pitches in the Scottish Premiership.

"Our pitch in particular, we enjoy playing on," he said. "When you go up to places like Ross County, St Johnstone or Motherwell at times - and this is not having a go at the ground staff, it's just the conditions and weather we get in the country - to keep grass pitches in a good condition for a long time is difficult.

"I'm a big believer in artificial pitches and I'm 34, I've been playing on it for years, I train on it every day and I'm fine, so I don't think it does any damage to your body.

"We've got the statistics that prove it - that you're as likely to get injured on grass as you are on that.

"I don't think there's any higher risk of injury and it makes it a good game of football. You can get the ball down and play."

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