SHAUN Wane was unconcerned with Wigan’s defeat after they went down 32-16 at Salford yesterday.
His Warriors failed to score until the 67th minute when a try by Dom Manfredi sparked a late flurry of activity.
But Wane was quick to keep the result into context, pointing out his squad lacked a clutch of front-line stars. And the two defeats – at Salford and a week earlier at Leigh – have not bruised his confidence that Wigan will be fit and firing for the start of the new Super League campaign on February 5, when big-spending Catalans arrive at the DW Stadium.
“I didn’t expect them to score 30-odd points, and we didn’t throw enough at them,” said Wane.
“But it was a bit personnel-based as well – if you took eight or players out of their side, they’d be a different side.
“I’m a realist, I know where we’re at, and we’ll be good in two weeks.”
Salford edged a tight, entertaining opening half-hour by 6-0 but turned the game on its head with three tries before the break.
They added two further scores from the restart before Wigan staged a late fightback. George Williams left the action in the first-half with blurred vision brought on by a migraine, limiting their attacking options.
“We also had Clubby, Ben and Josh suffering from stomach bugs overnight, so that’s why I’m not so disappointed now,” added Wane.
“I’m disappointed with certain aspects of our ‘D’, but that’s easy to fix,” he explained.
“Over the two games, even though we lost them, the young kids who’ve come in have done a decent job. “It would have been nice to win, but we don’t like winning pre-season games!
“But when you think
I’ve not had the full squad in a training session yet, it does affect things and that’s why I don’t get beat up about these pre-season (results) now.”
Wane, though, saw enough of Salford - who fielded new signings such as Justin Carney and Josh Jones - to convince him they may make the race for play-offs spots interesting this year.
“They’re going to be a good team (this year),” he said. “Let them enjoy the win, they’ve got some good players, all praise goes to them.
“They’re well-coached, the signings they’ve made are good - Josh Jones is a great talent and I’m so glad we’ve got him back in rugby league. They’ve got the make-up of a good squad, which I’m pleased about.”