Shaun Wane has vowed to prove Wigan’s critics wrong by charging up the ladder - despite the 16-10 loss to Warrington.
The Wolves dampened the mood of Sean O’Loughlin’s 400th game for his hometown club by coming from behind to claim victory.
Wigan had led 10-8 until Ben Currie marked his return from injury with a vital try.
And two penalties from Stefan Ratchford - another Wiganer - sealed the win which kept alive their faint hopes of avoiding a bottom-four finish before the Super-8s.
Wane, who hobbled back into the hot-seat after hip surgery, was bitterly disappointed to see his side out-enthused.
But he was unshaking in his belief Wigan will make a late rally for a top-four and insisted: “We’ll see different attitude next week. We’ll be okay, we’ll finish the season strong.
“I know people don’t want us to - but we will.”
Wane praised Warrington and said they “100 per cent” deserved the win after keeping the hosts scoreless in the second-half.
“I’m really disappointing. They had too much enthusiasm for us, which you can’t practice,” he said.
“It was a massive game for us - the 400th game for Lockers, we had loads of reasons we had to win, and I just didn’t see the desperation. I’m really disappointed, and the players know that.
“I feel bad and angry for Lockers. He’s done everything - we owed him a victory. But Warrington were great, well worth the win.”
This was Warrington’s first win against Wigan in four meetings this year and coach Tony Smith hailed Currie’s contribution after 10-months out with a serious knee injury.
“Aside from his try I thought he was terrific,” he said. “He did everything asked of him, plus more. It shows the class he’s got. He just didn’t look like he’d been out for nerly a year.
“To limit Wigan to the points we did - their first try was dubious, or I don’t know the rules - and our defence was outstanding.”
Wigan host Leeds next Friday in the last regular-season game - ahead of the Super-8s - before facing Salford in a Challenge Cup semi-final the following week.