WILLIAM Kvist has called on Wigan Athletic to use the battered and bruised playing surface at the DW Stadium to their advantage against Derby this afternoon.
Latics entertain the Rams in a massive six-pointer at both ends of the Championship table.
The home side are five points adrift of safety with only six games to go, while Derby are only clinging to a play-off spot on goal difference after a seven-match winless run.
It would be the perfect time for Latics to register a first home win in over seven months, and Kvist feels the problematic pitch at the DW – which took another beating from the Warriors-St Helens clash on Good Friday – could swing the balance Wigan’s way.
“We have six cup finals left and I really feel we have a big chance against Derby,” Kvist told the Evening Post.
“They won’t be used to our pitch, and hopefully we are by now.
“There’s nothing we can do about it, that’s just the way it is.
“What we can do is perhaps embrace it, say ‘fair enough’, and try to use it to our advantage.
“We can put some pressure on them by starting the first half a little quicker, and some time this season we are due a little bit of luck.
“On Monday, hopefully it will come. I really think it will.”
Latics go into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat at table-topping Middlesrbrough, when they again paid a heavy price for failing to take the chances that came their way.
“Again we played okay, and in the second half we played good,” the Denmark international recognised.
“But we need that killer pass, and you saw the difference between Middlesbrough and ourselves.
“In the first half, they played well and scored.
“In the second half, we played well and didn’t score.
“That’s the name of the game, the way the season’s gone.”
With only six games to save their season, Kvist feels Latics need to take the bull by the horns from the off.
“We need to focus on being really hard to beat, because Derby will also be looking for three points as they try to go up,” he added.
“Maybe it we play a bit clever, with a bit of nous, we can seize the initiative.
“We’ve seen this season that when we’ve managed to go 1-0 up, we are actually quite good at defending a lead.
“That has to be our biggest motivation for Monday - if we can go 1-0 up, it gives us something to hold on to.
“The home fans have been fantastic this season, and we need them to support us even more on Monday.
“I can’t believe how much we’ve disappointed our home fans this season.
“The players have been talking so much about the home record, and we really want to smash it against Derby.”