Scotland coach John Carver has described the national team’s previous training break at Oriam as “a safety hazard” and said he is surprised none of the international squad didn’t suffer a serious injury on the playing surface.
Manager Steve Clarke and his squad and staff are preparing for the first games of the European Championship qualifying campaign, with games against Cyprus and Spain at the national stadium over the next week.
Training has taken place at Queen’s Park’s Lesser Hampden and Carver said it’s a different experience to what he found to be a worrying facility in Edinburgh.
“We had to move from Oriam because we couldn’t get any accommodation in the hotel there but also, when you have someone like Willie Haughey (Queen’s Park backer), who wants to help the national team, him and his staff have been incredible,” Carver said.
“That facility we have trained on this morning is amazing, but the amount of people who have done so much hard work behind the scenes is incredible considering it is Queen’s Park’s facility.”
The coach then went on to explain his concerns about the Oriam pitches and what he saw as a risk to the players selected to represent their country.
“I will give you an example,” Carver said. “The surface is Premier League standard. We haven’t had one player slip on the surface this morning,
“With all due respect to Oriam, the surface was a safety hazard in my eyes. The pitch looked good on the eye. You guys were there quite often and you only saw us working in small areas.
“For some reason the surface would give way. For the guys who were training on it, for me, it was a safety hazard, a health risk.
“I am surprised we didn’t get any serious injuries from it, especially at the pace and tempo these guys were playing at and are playing at now.
“It was a huge concern. Nearly every one of them (raised concerns) and we had to curtail training at times.”
Carver believes that improving things in the background and outside of the crucial games can only be helpful in terms of the team achieving its aims.
“Now we have gone to this place and it is on another level,” he added. “It inspires me because you can tell the way I am speaking about it. It will certainly inspire a player.
“They must have got a massive boost when they walked through the door this morning and seen the facilities, the changing room and walked out to the pitch, because I did.
“It is very important because you have to make progress. This team is making progress, so we have to make progress behind the scenes as well.
“We have to make sure the environment when they come here from their clubs is right so we have to try and give them the best that we can and we are heading in the right direction.”
Oriam have been contacted for comment.