They have a pitch that looks better suited to a Massey Ferguson than Sir Alex Ferguson but Burton Albion are insistent that their sand-strewn surface is up to the job of hosting Sunday's prestige FA Cup third-round tie with mighty Manchester United.
The club yesterday had a team of tractors chugging up and down, spiking holes in the pitch at the five-month-old Pirelli Stadium in a desperate attempt to improve the drainage.
It has left the surface looking like a construction site, more suited for building houses or growing carrots than playing football but, after watching his players train on it yesterday lunchtime, Brewers boss Nigel Clough is quick to refute any suggestion that the pitch will prove an advantage to the Nationwide Conference club in this classic David v Goliath contest.
"I suppose it's a bit of a leveller, but we're a side who like to pass it, too," he said. "We've got some good footballers in our team and it's not really to our benefit either.
"Some of the sand that's on top of the surface now will have been cleared away by Sunday but, in any case, United are good enough to play on
anything. Although we'd have preferred to play this match at Old Trafford, games like this are the reason why this ground was built. It's a massive reward for building the stadium."
Chairman Ben Robinson expects Burton to make anything up to £300,000 from the game, largely due to TV fees and the 600 punters who have opted to take up the club's corporate package. But, even allowing for the problems many other clubs have had when they move grounds and lay down a new pitch, Robinson is starting to get a touch concerned at the escalating cost of getting the Pirelli Stadium surface on track.
"We spent £7million on the stadium and the first
thing that went down was the pitch," he said.
"It looked great back in the summer with a lovely amount of grass on it but, as soon as the rain came, it became a problem.
"We had to spend £11,500 on the drainage earlier in the season on a small square patch in front of the main stand, which was boggy as the water was not permeating properly through.
"For now, we're trying to solve the problem in the short term by using a firm who used the same solution to cure a similar drainage problem at the old Wembley.
"But we're also resigned to having to spend a lot more money on it at the end of the season to try to put it right."