'˜Excited' Wane not concerned about unwanted records
Strengthening their top-four credentials '“ rather than swerving an unwanted century-old record '“ will be motivating Shaun Wane tomorrow night.
Wigan go to Huddersfield looking to avoid their worst winless streak – eight games – in the league since 1903.
But buoyed by their thrilling 27-26 victory against Warrington in the Challenge Cup last weekend, and with his best players restored to the side, Wane will head over the Pennines with renewed confidence – and not concerned about winless runs.
Asked whether the weight of history would enter his thinking, Wane told reporters: “Not in the slightest. It doesn’t bother me.
“We all in this room understand the circumstances of what we’ve been in.
“If this (injury crisis) had happened to the team John Monie had, he’d have been under the pump.
“So it doesn’t interest me, it is what it is, we’ve got players back.
“The fact is, we’ve won a World Club Challenge, we’re into the Challenge Cup semis, there are circumstances why we lost so many (league) games and so – looking at the big picture – we’re not getting too negative.”
Wane has blooded seven academy products this season including two, Josh Woods and James Worthington, who aren’t even a part of his first-team squad.
And while has been disappointed to slide down the table after seven league matches without a win, he can see the long-term benefits from their “tough period”.
“Players like Jack Wells and Cal Field will have benefited greatly, and if we need them again they’ll be better for it,” said Wane.
“So I’m not down, I’m positive. We’ll go from strength to strength.”
He expect those young players’ development to continue as they shadow more senior players – such as fit-again Sam Tomkins, John Bateman and Sean O’Loughlin – in training.
“When you have people like Jack Wells stood behind John Bateman, and seeing the lines he runs in training, they’re learning,” he said.
“Now, training is a bit easier. Video is a bit easier.
“We have a lot of meetings, and it’s important, instead of me speaking and showing them stuff, when you have senior people in there, they speak more.”
Eighth-placed Wigan are three points clear of the bottom four, with five matches into the season splits for the Super-8s, and seven points from the top four.
Wane, speaking at his weekly press conference, spoke with such enthusiasm and brightness, he was asked whether he was excited about the challenge.
“I genuinely am,” he said. “You throw these stats about 100-year records, and I know what we’ve got.
“I know the toughness of this team, and it does...it excites me that everyone is thinking we’re down on confidence.
“We’re not, we’re confident and flying.”