With Sunday's FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Mansfield town only three days away, word from the non-league side is that the match risks being postponed with the pitch still not playable after being flooded on Boxing Day and with more rain expected before kickoff. Mansfield have already had to cancel one match due to the state of the pitch with Grimsby Town's visit on Saturday called off.
"The pitch took a lot of stick against Alfreton on Boxing Day and it [has been] hard for it to recover with all the rain," said Mansfield manager Paul Cox. "In fact the assessor in the stand said to me he was surprised that game actually finished as the ball wasn't moving in some places on the pitch and players just couldn't run with it."
"Then we had Grimsby called off. That game was in doubt on the Friday but overnight there were strong winds and no more rain, so I was quite optimistic about the pitch inspection. But the water just wasn't draining away and if you threw a ball up it just wouldn't bounce. And here we are again. All we can do is hope for Sunday."
As one of only five televised matches in the FA Cup's third round, it was set to be an unheard of turn in the international spotlight for the Conference National side and their 7,500 seat stadium. And while the match will be rescheduled if it is postponed, depending on how much warning there is and when it's moved to there's the chance ESPN UK could look to air another match instead.
"The front page of the newspaper the other day said the new year is set to be a wash-out," continued Cox, "so you start to worry about the Liverpool game. Obviously, we want to have a decent surface. We want to be be able to give the best account of ourselves that we can in front of a worldwide TV audience.
"The FA Cup has something special about it and to get Liverpool is a dream for the club, it is what dreams are made of. It will be a massive game for the club and such a shame if the weather ruins it for everyone because the players, the chairman, and the supporters all deserve it."
If the weather and currently waterlogged pitch allow for the game to go ahead as planned, kickoff will be at 4PM (GMT) on Sunday afternoon.