“I’m prepared to admit that the playing surface wasn’t perhaps 110%, but Mr Pinocchio has no right to criticise another club that might not have as much money as Tottenham.”

A Rochdale AFC spokesman was replying to the criticism of Spurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie, that the playing surface at Rochdale’s famous Spotland Stadium was unfit for football.

The spokesman continued, “to be honest, we were worried at one point, but after talking it over with the FA, we decided that tarmac was the way forward and now the pitch is perfect. Of course, the slope is still there, so even if you smash the ball along the ground from the edge of the box it might not go in, and often rolls back into the other penalty area, but Mr Punchinella has to understand that this is the FA Cup and part of the romance of the Cup is seeing how many Premiere League players you can hospitalise in 90 minutes”.

Rochdale AFC have made other improvements to the ground and the club whippet has a new coat. There are also plans to release 50 blue and white pigeons before the game to honour the number of season ticket holders at The Dale.

“We’ve unblocked two of the five toilets in the Gents’ and there are rumours of triple ply, but I can’t confirm that. There are no hard feelings though, and we look forward to welcoming Manuel Poinsettia and the Tottenham fans.”

It’ll be a game they’ll never forget.