Pitch 'could wreck World Cup dream'

  • Last Updated: May 24 2010, 8:35 BST

Blackpool's Gary Taylor-Fletcher fears the Wembley pitch could wreck World Cup dreams tonight.

The Wembley pitch has often cut up this season.

The Seasiders striker bore the full brunt of an unforgiving surface on Saturday when he was forced off during an epic Championship play-off final against Cardiff City.

The experienced frontman left the stadium on the crutches after injuring his ankle, with an inability to keep his footing costing him dear.

Taylor-Fletcher believes a similar fate could await England's top stars, with the Three Lions set to meet Mexico in a friendly this evening.

Any knocks suffered now are likely to end hopes the player in question has of making the plane to South Africa.

It is hoped all those on show in the latest fixture to be staged on the much-maligned Wembley pitch will come through unscathed, but there is no guarantee that will be the case.

"The England players have got to be careful - there is a big World Cup coming up for them all. One slip and it could all be over for them," said Taylor-Fletcher, who helped Blackpool book their place in the Premier League with a 3-2 victory over Cardiff.

"I have worn three pairs of boots on Saturday and in all of them I was either slipping over or getting caught.

"After about 10 minutes my studs got caught in the ground. I changed my boots to a smaller stud and was slipping everywhere in them.

"I changed again at half-time and after five minutes, exactly the same thing has happened - the studs got caught in the ground, I went over, and that was the end of it.

"It was the fault of the ground. The studs got caught. We were told they were going to water it after we had warmed up, but I kept changing studs and it didn't make a difference.

"I am another victim of the famous Wembley pitch! I went over twice on my ankle and the second time was enough to put me out.

"They have got to be careful - I just hope they get it sorted sooner rather than later."