SHAUN Wane has backed his troops to rise to the “mental challenge” of today’s tricky trip to Hull Kingston Rovers.
Just three days after a bruising derby triumph against St Helens, Wigan are back in action this afternoon hoping to cling on to their place at the top of the Super League ladder.
Wane’s counterpart this afternoon, Craig Sandercock, is among those who have criticised staging two rounds over the Easter weekend.
But Wane is a huge fan and doesn’t want it to change. He said: “It’s a mental challenge, more than anything.
“It’s a short turnaround, but you deal with it.
“I’m not one of these who will moan about it.
“Playing two games at Easter is part of our history.
“It’s traditional in this country – and we’re in England, that’s what we do.
“It’s a big demand on the players, but that’s why we have squads.”
As well as being a punishing few days for the players, Wane says the backroom staff have worked overtime over the Easter weekend to best prepare the players for today’s match.
“That’s why I love it, because it’s a challenge for everyone,” said Wane.
“We’ve got, to make sure the players get iced, massaged and get the vitamins and rehab they need.
“We’re going over to Hull early – it’s costing an absolute fortune, but fair play to Ian Lenagan (chairman), he’s backed us with what we want to do – which is to get the two points.”
With Hull KR also tasting derby victory last Friday, courtesy of a 23-10 win at Hull FC, Wane expects them to be brimming with confidence.
“They’re a good side anyway, and we’re catching them on the back of a good performance,” he said.
“They turned us over in a friendly in pre-season, there is a lot of quality there in that squad.
“It should be a good game.
“If we were both at our best, I’d feel we’d sneak it – but given the timing of the game, this is a mental test more than anything.”