Wane: Every game is must-win, end of

Shaun Wane is taking a semi-final mentality into the rest of the season
Shaun Wane is taking a semi-final mentality into the rest of the season

Shaun Wane is drawing on recent-history as Wigan attempt to gatecrash the top-four.

The seventh-placed Warriors have 10 matches – starting with tomorrow’s televised clash at Catalans – to try and secure a play-offs spot.

Wane takes encouragement from their achievements in past campaigns that his players will rise to the challenge. And he has told them to adapt a semi-final mentality if they are to give themselves a chance of reaching a fifth-straight Grand Final.

He said: “My players have won some big pressure games over the years, and every game now until the end of the Super 8s is must-win, end of.

“The players recognise that and you could tell that by the way they celebrated after Widnes.

“My thought process is that we have to win every game – no question.

“That’s what I said to the players; we have to prepare the best we can and we’re nailing every day with every detail. How they eat, how long we’re stretching, every detail is covered. I like that challenge because it makes us a bit more pressured within the staff to make sure everything is nailed. It’s a bit tense, the atmosphere, and I like pressure like that.”

Wane misses tomorrow’s clash because of a hip operation, but will pick the side and watch the match - though he will leave the pre-game instructions to assistant coach John Winder.

The players fly out at 5am and return tomorrow night, a ploy which worked for them last year - when they won 26-6 to spoil Catalans’ 10-year anniversary celebrations.

In the past, they have spent three or four days in the south of France.

“I can’t tell you how much of a pressure game that was last year, and we pumped them,” said Wane.

“The leadership team said they liked it - there’s more time in their own beds, and when you’re over there, there’s not much to do.

“This is up early, travel, sleep, and the players felt fresh. They were goosed when they got back late! But we gave them some time off - so let’s do it again.”