John Deacey allowed his guard to drop this week and said what everyone at Bradford Park Avenue and all their supporters have been muttering under their breath.

The Avenue boss insisted: “We can’t play at home, not on that pitch – and that’s not an excuse, it’s a fact because the surface is an absolute disgrace.

“It has always been a problem but right now, taking all of the severe weather into account, its worse than ever and I actually feel sorry for the lads.

“They have to go out on that and try to play the game the correct way and it’s impossible.”

Avenue were beaten 2-0 at Horsfall on Monday night in what was their first home outing of the month after the Vauxhall Motors fixture on February 1 was postponed.

They are due to host Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow, weather permitting, and Deacey and his players are filled with trepidation. They would rather play away from home and that is a situation that should never arise.

“It is no disrespect to anyone at Avenue or the council, who own the stadium and work on the pitch, but it is not a surface that our players can express themselves on by playing their natural game,” said Deacey.

“We train at the best facility in the area on a superb 4G pitch and the players love it and they play great football on it. Then on a match day we have to play at Horsfall and the pitch is diabolical.”

Deacey knows accusations of making excuses will be levelled at him but he feels he has to speak out. He also insists that he is not the only manager who feels the beautiful game will not be seen in its best light on the current surface.

He revealed: “The Stockport manager (Alan Lord) said it was shocking on Monday night and the last four visiting managers have all said the same. They have said we deserve a better surface to play on because of the way we try to play the game.

“I’m usually a very upbeat kind of guy but I have to admit that it’s getting to me. I love the game and I have a firm belief that it should be played in the correct manner and that we have a duty to entertain the crowd.

“We have players like Nicky Boshell, Paul Walker and Jordan (Deacey) who are all really good footballers. They can’t be at their best on this.

“Some of the guys who come here from opposing teams just laugh when they get on the pitch. It’s okay for them, because they only have to come once a season, but our lads have to deal with it every week.”