Wigan coach Shaun Wane admits his world champion players face a test of their mental toughness as they prepare for a return to Super League action.
The Super League champions partied into the night following their epic 22-6 World Club Challenge victory over Cronulla on Sunday but will come back down to earth when they host Widnes on Friday.
“We celebrated what was a massive win for the club and enjoyed the night but now it’s back in the grind of Super League and we’ve got a must-win game on Friday against Widnes,” Wane told a press conference at the club’s training base in Orrell.
“I know it’s going to be tough for the players, it’s tough for us as coaches, to change your concentration onto another game. But that’s our challenge.
“This is a mental week for the players, we can’t get them on the field that much.”
Despite the impressive nature of their win over the Australian champions, Wane says there is much room for improvement and knows his team will become an even bigger scalp for their Super League rivals with the world crown on their heads.
“That’s great, more pressure,” Wane said. “There was a huge amount of pressure on Sunday and the players loved it.”
Meanwhile, Wane revealed he exchanged congratulatory text messages with Warrington coach Tony Smith, whose side kicked off the World Club Series with a 27-18 win over Brisbane Broncos on Saturday, and was inundated with congratulations from the rest of Super League, with one exception.
“I sent Tony a message after Saturday’s game congratulating him and he sent me one after our game,” he said.
“There’s a real good camaraderie with all the Super League clubs, I’ve had loads of messages from coaches, nearly every single club sent me a nice message, the exception was Daryl (Powell) at Cas but it is what it is.”