STUART McCall has warned City to man up for the battle they will face on League Two’s most difficult pitch.

Newport’s notorious Rodney Parade represents the most treacherous playing surface in the division – even more so given the current unpredictable and stormy weather.

The ground, which is also home to the Dragons pro rugby union team, has already staged 50 games this season including Wednesday’s Trophy semi-final against Salford.

But McCall has told his squad that any complaints will not be tolerated.

He said: “The surface we’re training on at the moment is not ideal and a couple of the younger ones had a bit of a moan when it bobbled and then the wind picked up.

“I said to them, ‘if it’s going to be like that at Newport, does that mean you don’t want to travel with us?’

“That’s what you’re going to get. So, get your mind round it now.

“The game’s going to be a battle but in the calmer periods, let’s show we’ve got that quality to win it.

“They know whingeing and moaning is not accepted here. Man up, get out there and get on with it and be the best you can.”

City’s first trip to Newport since the old Somerton Park days in 1985 will be a reminder for McCall of some of the surfaces he encountered as a young player.

He added: “I remember the Baseball Ground at Derby was a constant cow field. Even at the top level, there were no immaculate pitches like now.

“Even the Division One games at Leeds and Derby, the top grounds, the surface was like that and you just got on with it.

“Obviously things have improved and you’d much rather play on good surfaces because you get better quality.

“But I remember going down to Newport, when we won 1-0 with John Hawley scoring. That was the last time I was there.

“It was a scrap and a battle and you do what you can to get over the line and win it any way you can. Football’s about winning and you find different ways to do it.

“Even though we mention conditions and weather, it’s not an excuse.

“Maybe, you don’t want to go and play your most ball-talented, dainty players on a cow field or throwing loads of crosses in if it’s 60 mph winds.

“It would be naïve not to have an eye on that. But you’ve got to stick to what you think will get a result.”

McCall took the chance to check up on Newport in midweek and was gutted to see his former skipper Michael Flynn miss out on a Wembley trip on penalties.

The Salford game showed how tough a nut to crack the Exiles are likely to be.

McCall said: “They are certainly defensively strong and organised.

“The key is to make the fewest possible mistakes and you’re hoping, as I heard (Salford manager) Graham Alexander say, for somebody to produce a bit of magic. We’ve got a few of them.”