Jim McInally, the Peterhead manager, believes that the decision to relay the Hampden pitch today in preparation for the weekend William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals will make the surface safer to play on.

The Peterhead manager revealed after yesterday’s 4-0 defeat in the Petrofac Training Cup final to Rangers that Ryan Strachan - one of three injured Peterhead players - had been forced out of the game because of a groin strain, with the suspicion being that the pitch was a contributory factor in the injury.

“The ground is so hard, there is a skim on top of it,” he said. “Three of our players picked up groin injuries. Ryan Strachan has not missed a game all season.

“The poorer the pitch was, the better it was for us to a certain extent.

“It’s better to be relaid, than to try and play on that if you are trying to play two semi-finals next week.

“It is in really, really poor condition. It is solid. If you soak it, then it becomes a bit dangerous.

“I don’t think it could be any worse, no matter what they do to it, but I’m no grass expert.”

Pitch-matters aside, McInally was left disappointed at the manner of his side’s 4-0 defeat to Rangers, although he was unhappy at the decision to award the Ibrox side an 85th minute penalty which Andy Halliday converted.

“I’m really disappointed, especially with the first 40 minutes,” he said. “Without conceding too many chances, we gave away possession cheaply.

“They never did what I asked of them, to get in Rangers’ faces. We were 2-0 down, then showed can play a wee bit in the last five minutes of second half

“In the second half, we did ok, just ok.

“If you want to play Russian roulette with a team like Rangers, you are asking for trouble. We got picked off. But I’ve seen the penalty again and it’s not a penalty.”

Meanwhile, the Peterhead manager described the prospect of this Sunday’s clash between Celtic and Rangers as “intriguing.”

“Last year, the game was a foregone conclusion,” he said. “This one isn’t. It’s pretty intriguing. Especially if Celtic play with one striker and allow Rangers to play.”