MICHAEL Maguire has praised his players for cutting short their Challenge Cup-winning celebrations – to try and boost their chances of chasing more silverware.
The Australian has revealed how the squad decided to call time on their partying after Sunday night.
They returned to training on Monday – just two days after the Wembley heroics – and backed that up with a double session on Tuesday to try and give themselves the best possible chance of beating Warrington this Sunday.
The derby at the Halliwell Jones is always a tough encounter, and this weekend’s game will have a huge impact on where they finish the Super League campaign.
If Warriors win, they will be guaranteed to end the season on top of the ladder for a second successive year, while a defeat would send the race for the League Leaders’ Shield down to the final weekend – Wigan host Crusaders and Warrington travel to Hull FC.
Maguire said last night: “The boys had a good time and enjoyed themselves after Saturday.
“They worked hard to win the Challenge Cup and it was right that they celebrate such a big achievement.
“But, as a group, they decided to start back on Monday, and I think that says a lot about how hungry they are to do well in Super League.
“They’ve trained really well, and everyone’s already thinking about Sunday.”
Maguire reported no fresh injury concerns from their 28-18 win against Leeds at Wembley, other than Lee Mossop (shoulder) and Josh Charnley (finger).
Both will be assessed tomorrow and Maguire is keeping his fingers crossed that both will be able to figure in Sunday’s match.
Charnley had surgery on the finger after a first-minute injury left the bone prodding out of the flesh, and is recovering well.
Mossop dislocated his shoulder, but medics put the joint back into place and coaches hope he will not need an operation. The prop missed the end of last season due to shoulder surgery.
Having seen their team lift the Cup silverware last Saturday, Wigan fans don’t want to miss out on the chance to celebrate league leaders’ shield success should they beat Warrington – they had sold out their entire allocation by yesterday morning.
If Wigan do secure the No.1 spot, they will be presented with the silverware at the DW after next Friday’s home match against the Crusaders.
As reported yesterday, Wigan are planning to make a surprise move for the Welsh outfit’s 37-year-old centre Gareth Thomas – in addition to bringing in coach Iestyn Harris as Shaun Wane’s No.2.
The Warriors may wait until after the Crusaders fixtures before confirming Harris’ appointment.
l England coaching role for Warrior – page 39