Wane: We’ll prove it was a blip

John Bateman hasn't played since a head knock on Easter Monday
John Bateman hasn't played since a head knock on Easter Monday

Shaun Wane says he has not needed to rebuild his players’ confidence ahead of tonight’s clash with Castleford.

The injury-hit Warriors were humiliated 62-0 in their last outing, at Wakefield on Sunday – the third heaviest defeat in the club’s history.

While Wane didn’t make excuses for the mauling, he was missing 10 frontline players through injury, while several of those who did play were suffering from an illness which had spread through the camp.

But in the wake of such a mauling, he knows his players will be under wider scrutiny tonight as they seek to avoid a third straight loss.

And he says it has been “quite easy” to ensure the players consign it as a blip in a campaign which had, until then, gone better than many had expected.

Wane said: “That was just a blip. Honestly, I’ve not even had to build their confidence back, they know what to do.

“They know they let themselves down and they know how to fix it.

“The players were hurting, but it’s been quite easy to get last week out of our system.

“I reminded them that everyone was raving about our defence before then.

“And even though we had a shocker against Wakefield, we’ve still got the second best defence in the league.”

John Bateman and Dom Crosby are set to return from injuries, but Ben Flower is not expected to figure, despite being included in the provisional 19-man squad.

Prop Crosby will be making his first appearance of the year, while forward Bateman hasn’t figured since suffering a head knock in the Easter Monday win against Hull KR.

And Wane is hoping others have shaken off the effects of a virus which impacted on their squad last week.

Castleford, seventh on the ladder, beat Widnes 34-24 in their last outing.

And Wane said: “They are a very workmanline team.

“They have middles who are hard to handle, and Luke Gale is playing really well.

“They have thrown up some quirky plays, but there’s nothing that’s surprised me too much about them.

“They’ve kept to what has served them well, they keep it low risk, and it works well for them.

“But this is more about what we need to do and making sure we put in a performance we know we’re capable of.”