The Liam Farrell Column: Cas’ will want to spoil our top-four dreams

Liam Farrell and Sam Powell model the shirt Wigan will wear against Castleford on Sunday
Liam Farrell and Sam Powell model the shirt Wigan will wear against Castleford on Sunday

It’s great to be up to third in the ladder, but we’re not changing our mind-set.

As far as we’re concerned, we need to win our next two games.

The race between Wakefield, Hull FC, St Helens and ourselves is so tight, we can’t afford to leave anything to chance.

Sunday’s game against Castleford would be a big one at any stage.

They’re the league leaders, they’ve beaten us twice already, it’s our last game at home this year... throw the stakes into the mix, and it’s a vital match for us.

In our last game against them, we were shown up. We lost 54-4 – lost Morgan Escare and Ben Flower to injuries in the process – and to say they didn’t see the best of us would be an understatement.

I’m sure that match will get mentioned in the build-up.

It’s a tough challenge for us, but I’m confident with the team we have now, and with the way we’re playing, we’re capable of getting the job done.

They may not need the points, but I think Cas’ will be really determined to get the win, because it’s only two weeks until the semis – they don’t want to go into the sudden-death play-offs stumbling, they want to be flying.

There is a bit of rivalry between us – it’s grown from them getting stronger over the years – and they will want come here and try and spoil it for us and try and prevent us getting in the top four.

Luke Gale will be absent after appendix surgery, and I wish him all the best with his recovery. He’s obviously been a big player for them, but Cas have a very well-balanced side.

Their middles go well for them, they have a good offload game with players like Junior Moors, Zak (Hardaker) helps get their plays on well, their outside backs finish the chances... they’ve done really well all year.

There are areas we will look to improve from our performance at Hull on Friday.

Waney wasn’t over-impressed at half-time and we came out for the second-half and did well, we scored two tries and looked pretty comfortable, but we had a 20-minute period where we let them get on top of it.

Sometimes it can be a curse playing against 12 men.

I’ve been in teams which have rallied when we’ve had a player sent off – I remember at Warrington, Benny went off and we came back and won.

It’s because, when a player is sent off, his team-mates seem to grow an extra leg, and it also relieves some of the pressure. You’re almost expected to lose – it puts the pressure on the opposition, and we reacted to it the wrong way.

Too often, we tried to go around Hull, rather than sticking to our plan.

I’ve got to give them credit for the way they got back into it, and when we were trailing 22-20, I was quite nervous – fortunately we got some good field position, and possession, and managed to sneak it at the end.

Should it have been a red card? My reaction at the time was it was harsh. I think he was just protecting himself.

We’ll wear a one-off shirt this Sunday.

The design is similar to the 1987 top, to mark the 30 year anniversary of Wigan’s win against Manly.

It’s important to recognise past achievements, especially huge ones like World Club Challenges.

It’s pretty strange to think in 30 years, players who haven’t even been born yet may be playing in a replica of this year’s shirt to remember the Cronulla game!