Micky McIlorum admits Friday’s clash with Leeds is an acid-test of Wigan’s trophy credentials.
Wigan’s last six matches have all been against teams in the bottom half of the ladder.
Their four-game streak without defeat came to an abrupt half with Thursday’s 16-10 defeat against Warrington – which jolted their top-four hopes.
With high-flying Leeds, who beat Hull FC 10-7 last week, visiting this Friday, ahead of a Challenge Cup semi-final against surprise package Salford and then the start of the Super-8s, McIlorum sees this week’s contest as a chance to prove they are still capable of mixing it with the best.
He said: “Leeds are flying high and so this will be a good test for us.
“We need these tests because if we want to be up there, we need to be beating the best teams.
“And I’m confident we can turn it around.
“If you pick up the points and worry about your own performances, then usually you’re not far away at the end of the year.
“But if we perform like we did against Warrington again, we’ll be miles away.”
Wigan players reviewed the match on Friday morning and have had the weekend off to mull over their disappointing display, which saw them let a 10-8 lead slip in a second-half in which they failed to score.
“We were our own worst enemy,” said McIlorum.
“It wasn’t what Warrington did, it was what we did – too many times we let them off the hook.
“We’ve been talking about building and getting some momentum going into the Cup semis, and it was definitely a step back.
“But hopefully we can take some positives and learn from it. We’ll need a massive improvement.
“It was last-chance saloon for Warrington and we knew they would come out with everything – but it was the same story the previous week at Cataland and we managed that game well.”
And the tough-tackling hooker has highlighted the area they need to pay particular attention to on Friday, in the second instalment of the Big One Week.
“Leeds have got threats all over, Joel Moon is playing well, they’ve strike in the centres, but at the end of day if we win the ruck – which we didn’t do against Warrington - it takes away a lot of the team’s threats,” he added.