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The Liam Farrell column: ‘We’ll manage the emotions of Wane’s exit’

Liam Farrell playing at the Magic Weekend
Liam Farrell playing at the Magic Weekend

It was a very big shock.

We didn’t expect it when Shaun Wane told us he was leaving the club at the end of the year. He’s made the decision he wants to leave the club and I don’t think he knows what his immediate future is going to hold.

The news was very disappointing for me. I’ve had him as a coach for a long time and so have a lot of the other lads.

But it’s going to have to be a quick process to try and get it into our heads and try and forget about it for a while because there’s a long way to the end of the season, and we also have our job to do this weekend.

Shaun Wane was assistant to Michael Maguire when I came into the first team. Even though I owe a lot of credit to Madge, he gave me my debut, I’m pretty sure Waney pushed it a lot for me to break into the team and he coached me for a few years before that and I owe a lot to him.

I think the more we forget about it now for the next three or four months the better it will be for us, and then if we’re in a good position I think emotions might end up playing a part and hopefully that will drive us on, It would be a bit of a fairytale ending but we’ve got a lot of work before then and a lot of hard work.

We will also be able to manage those emotions – looking at our squad this year there’s a good mix of people, a lot of experienced players.

There are players who can handle those emotions and make sure we deal with them at the right times. We just need to get back to our normal processes, knock off games and put it to the back of our minds.

The club also announced last week that Zak Hardaker is joining us next season. A lot has gone on!

I have to say I’m a big fan of Zak and I’ve voted for him for Man of Steel twice. He’s an outstanding player and for him to be at this club is a key signing for us, so we’re very happy with that. Come November I’m sure he will be ready to rip in for this club but it’s a big challenge, though I’m sure he’s very capable and we’re excited to have him. He probably had in his mind that Waney was going to be here but whoever comes in, I’m sure will be able to nurture Zak. People point to the fact he will have been out of the game for more than a year, but you can see players out injured and they come back in and find their form so I don’t think that will play too much of a part.

As long as he comes back fit and healthy and ready to train I’m sure the club can help him back to his best.

I think Zak’s realised that and it’s one of the reasons he’s come here.

I wouldn’t say we’re a strict club but we don’t stand for any nonsense.

I don’t think Zak has ever wanted bother in the past, I just think he’s been caught in bad circumstances and I think he’s ready for a fresh start from here.

He’ll want to get back to contending for that Man of Steel.

With everything that’s come out of the club this week you might have forgotten we’ve got to play a match tomorrow!

I’ve only been to Hull KR once or twice when we’ve had a decent win – it’s always been difficult going there. It can get pretty scrappy when we play them.

It will be hard for us travelling there. A couple of weeks ago we were scrappy early on and didn’t make them earn anything coming out of their own half, so there are a few areas we want to fix up.

We want to try and keep on piling that pressure on Saints in the table. We’re sitting nicely at the moment, we’re happy where we are and if we can keep knocking those wins off it will put us in a good position when the end of the season comes around.

It was good to go 10 games unbeaten at Magic Weekend against Warrington last weekend – it’s fair to say we like the concept.

Newcastle is a great place for it, but there has been talk of moving it for next year – even taking it abroad.

I think if it can work for all Super League clubs and work for the Super League itself it can be a great idea to take it somewhere else.

If it’s abroad – great – but you have to make sure it’s for the right reasons and everyone involved wants to do it as well. From a player’s point of view, taking it abroad would be a great experience.

I think a lot of Wigan fans would jump on the back of the concept of getting away for a few days but also understand some other clubs might not. You have to make sure the right reasons are there.