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Airbus UK Broughton: Craig Harrison hoping to get green light for TNS clash

AIRBUS manager Craig Harrison is hopeful that his side’s clash with second-placed TNS will go ahead tomorrow (7.45pm) despite ongoing sub-zero temperatures, writes Paul Glynn.

The Wingmen have a reasonable record against the Welsh Premier big boys and believe The New Saints’ artificial pitch will suit their passing style.

The Park Hall playing surface is made of 3G fibre grass and has a far greater chance of withstanding the extreme cold than Airbus’s own authentic grass pitch at The Airfield which, like many in Britain, is currently frozen solid.

And with last Friday’s visit of table-toppers Bangor City and Tuesday’s trip to Aberystwyth Town having both fallen foul of the weather, the former Middlesbrough man wants officials to leave any pitch inspection as late as possible in order to give his side the best chance of playing.

“They will hopefully leave it until tomorrow morning to make a decision” said Harrison.

“It’s true TNS do have an unfair advantage as they play on the pitch all the time, but they have a disadvantage when they play teams on grass pitches so it evens itself out.

“We also have access to the 3G pitch in Wrexham so we have trained on there.

“They’ve not beaten us at home for three years and last year they only beat us 1-0 at their place, which is good when you consider how many goals they have put past other teams at home.”

The Welsh Premier could face a fixture pile-up before the mid-season league split on January 15 if more games are postponed.

“There could be a problem if that happens,” said Harrison. “But there is a two-week gap at end of first half of the season, which I presume is there for that reason.”

Harrison also said new number two Roger Preece has settled in quickly since his appointment last week.

“Roger’s not had a game with us yet but he’s trained once or twice and had time to bed in,” he said.

“For the last few months me and Andy Thomas have basically been doing three men’s jobs so his arrival has lifted a burden.”