Jack Ross defends decision to narrow pitch as Alloa Athletic fight relegation



Jack Ross has defended his decision to dramatically narrow Alloa Athletic’s pitch – because he believes it could help keep the club in the Championship.

The new Wasps boss has made no apologies for the move that has brought the touchlines in on both sides by around five yards in a bid to spark a change in fortunes at home.

(Pic: BBC Scotland)
(Pic: BBC Scotland)

The tactic, which is only permitted midway through the campaign, failed to bring rewards at the weekend, when Falkirk plundered a 1-0 victory.

Bairns boss Peter Houston believes Scottish football’s rule-makers should not allow such a change once the season has started, but Ross insists he will try anything to get his team off the bottom of the table.

He said: “When I came here we had only taken one point from 27 in nine home games, so we looked at what could we do to help address that.

“When we are playing against full-time teams with good quality, they prefer pitches with big spaces so we thought it might help us to narrow the pitch.

“It didn’t change the end result (on Saturday) but it did keep us in the game throughout, so it’s an educated gamble.

“We could just let the season peter out or look to change.

“We asked the question and were told it was okay – if it works, it works, but we need to try things.”

Meanwhile, after handing the 19-year-old a debut at the weekend, Ross admits he is thrilled with the loan acquisition of Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna.

The former Hearts under-20s coach added: “I genuinely had no qualms about playing Scott. He is somebody I have watched over the past couple of years, I had seen him play for Scotland under-19s and watched him in a few games since.

“I know the type of player he is and knew he could handle this fine.”