Wigan Athletic midfielder Kevin Kilbane admits the JJB pitch is weighing on the players' minds.
Wretched weather recently and the fact they ground share with Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club has left the pitch rutted.
Two years ago it was relaid at a cost of £300,000, and it remains to be seen whether owner Dave Whelan will again do so with the season so far advanced.
Kilbane insists it is up to the players to make the most of such a bad lot, adding: "It is poor. I don't think anyone would say any different.
"It's certainly not helping us, of course it isn't, and if it's not going to get ripped up, then we have to try and use it to our advantage.
"We have to make it difficult for teams to play on that pitch because the likes of Everton are going to come and want to play.
"So we have to make it a scrap. Villa did that in the previous home game. They seemed to scrap better than us.
"Everton did that yesterday because it was a messy game, and yet they've ended up winning 2-1."