ANTHONY Gelling pulled no punches in assessing last Friday’s win against Bradford – insisting Wigan must make drastic improvements if their Challenge Cup ambition is to remain on track.
The Warriors host Widnes a week today in the quarter-finals of the knock-out competition.
They head into the tie on the back of a 26-20 triumph against the Bulls, which kept them top of Super League ladder and ended a two-game losing run.
Yet Gelling concedes they were “lucky” to bag the two points and says they could have had no complaints if they had lost.
Wigan trailed 20-4 heading into the final quarter before four tries – including a last-minute Chris Tuson effort – turned the match on its head.
And Gelling said: “It was too close.
“It was good that the boys didn’t give up, but we got lucky.
“I think if we would have lost it would have been a fair result.
“We were poor for 75 minutes and then turned it on with five to go, we didn’t deserve to win that game – but we did and we’ll take it.”
Wigan, who lost the previous two matches against Warrington and Castleford, were missing several key players including Sean O’Loughlin and Sam Tomkins.
Yet centre Gelling insists they should still have performed better in Friday’s clash against Bradford Bulls.
“It was basic stuff, catch and pass, just slowed us down,” he said.
“We’re happy we had the desire to get the win at the end, it would have been easy to say, ‘We’ve lost this, let’s throw it around’, but at the end we ran hard and stood up in defence.
“When Tuse went over I was relieved, because not to win three in a row is unheard of here.”
Wigan will head into next week’s quarter-finals as favourites, particularly with Tomkins and Lee Mossop likely to return and O’Loughlin a chance of coming into the frame.
“We’ve got to win next week, 100 per cent,” added Gelling.
“I’ve watched a few Widnes games and, I don’t want to say they’re jammy, but they’re a team that won’t go away.
“They’re dangerous, they can be losing and they’ll score three tries in five minutes and it’s game on. We’ll need to put them away.”
Gelling is also working hard on a personal level to fight for a first team spot with Iain Thornley and Jack Hughes when he has not been covering in the pack.
The pair have traded the centre spot throughout the season and the Cook Islands international insists the competition is good for the development of both of them.
“Every week me and Thornley competing for the spot, and we want to do our job and play well,” he said.
“And it’s the same for him too.It’s good competition – we mark up on one another in training and push each other and it’s good,” he added.
Gelling has scored six tries so far this season.