Tottenham's Wembley pitch problems could continue

The Wembley pitch during Spurs' match against City
Image: The Wembley pitch was used on Sunday for an NFL match before Spurs' MNF game against Manchester City

Tottenham's Wembley pitch problems look set to continue after Mauricio Pochettino blamed the surface for Erik Lamela's glaring miss that could have earned his side a point against Manchester City.

Sky Sports News understands the pitch is not due to be relaid, and the current surface will not have enough time to return to its best with just seven days until their next home game at the national stadium against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.

Wembley ground staff had originally planned for the pitch to get an 18-day rest period between the final NFL fixture on October 28 and England's friendly clash with USA on November 15.

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Eric Lamela missed a golden opportunity to equalise for Tottenham late on against Manchester City but did the pitch play a part in the miss?

But the dropping in of yet more Tottenham home fixtures into the Wembley schedule has prevented the grass getting much-needed time for recovery and regrowth.

Spurs announced in September the City game would be played at Wembley due to continued delays over their new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which it has since been announced will not be ready until the New Year.

Wembley ground staff are understood to be working overtime to ensure the pitch is in the best condition it can be for the Premier League club, who still have another six home games to play at the stadium.

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But the club were warned and accepted the pitch would be below its peak due to the unscheduled fixtures they have had to take on.

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Ground staff were also unable to fully wash out the NFL markings completely from the pitch in the 24 hours leading up to the City game, due to three weeks' worth of NFL paint soaking into the grass, and aggressively washing it out having the capacity to damage the surface even further.

In normal circumstances a dye would have been used on the pitch to cover up the NFL logo, however the short interval between the end of Sunday's NFL game and the start of Monday's match meant the grass dye would not have had a chance to dry and officials were concerned that green pigment would have discoloured the players' kit and the ball itself.

Spurs' next home encounter with PSV is a must-win to remain in contention for a Champions League last- 16 place, having failed to win their opening three games away to Inter, PSV and at home to Barcelona.

UEFA are monitoring the situation ahead of that game, with a statement reading: "UEFA is closely monitoring the situation at Wembley and working with the club, the FA and management of the stadium, to guarantee safe playing conditions for the Champions League match."

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