Gerrard wants plastic pitches banned after Murphy injury

Steven Gerrard wants plastic pitches banned

Steven Gerrard called for plastic pitches to be banned after Rangers winger Jamie Murphy suffered a serious knee injury in Sunday's 3-1 win at Kilmarnock.

Murphy appeared to twist his left knee on the artificial turf at Rugby Park during Rangers' Scottish League Cup last 16 tie.

Gerrard was careful not to accuse Kilmarnock of having a sub-standard pitch, but the Rangers manager made it clear that '4G' artificial surfaces have no place in the top level of the game.

Speaking after an Alfredo Morelos treble sent Rangers through to a last eight tie against Ayr, Gerrard said: "Jamie's sad, he's upset, I think he's fearing the worst.

"We're devastated. Jamie looks like he'll be missing for quite a while.

"We'll get him checked out, we hope it's not as bad as we're first fearing.

"We all know that plastic pitches are not as safe as grass. I'm not here to disrespect Kilmarnock and their playing facilities. I know it helps support the running of their football club.

"But my opinion is elite football shouldn't have any plastic pitches."

Murphy is not the first Rangers player to suffer on Kilmarnock's pitch.

Martyn Waghorn was ruled out for two months after he was left with "abrasions" during a clash back in February 2016.

Gerrard added: "We're dealing with elite footballers, who earn an awful lot of money, and I think for every club worldwide it's safer to have a grass pitch.

"We'll have to wait and see. I think if you ask Jamie right now he'll say it was a pitch incident.

"I don't think it's the first time Rangers have had that type of injury here, I think Waghorn suffered a couple of years back."

Holders Celtic will travel to St. Johnstone in the last eight after seeing off Partick Thistle 3-1 on Saturday.

Hearts host Motherwell, while Aberdeen will face the winners of Hibs and Ross County, who play later on Sunday.