Wane: We're all really positive
Shaun Wane says there is a 'positive' mood in the Warriors camp despite last weekend's setbacks.
Wigan dropped to fifth in the table after a 54-4 thumping at Castleford – a defeat which saw more stars added to his lengthy injury list.
And with captain Sean O’Loughlin away with the England side, Wane will turn to several of his fringe players for Friday’s visit of third-placed Salford.
But he insists the mood among the players and coaches remains upbeat.
Wane said: “We all can’t wait for the Salford game, I’m excited.
“I’ll pick our strongest team, we’ll have two good sessions and we’ll put in a good performance.”
Wigan’s landslide loss on Saturday eclipsed the 42-14 defeat at the same ground two years ago – which Wane later described as one of the lowest points of his coaching career.
But he made a distinction between the two results.
“Two years ago we gave in, we didn’t do that at the weekend,” he said.
“There were reasons why we lost so heavily and we didn’t play well, but we’ve reviewed it, and the mood is really positive and upbeat.”
The Wigan players returned to training today.
Wane will be keen to discover the severity of the injuries to Morgan Escare (knee), Ryan Sutton and Micky McIlorum (both ankle) to see if they will be able to play on Friday.
Anthony Gelling and George Williams were due to have knee injuries scanned and are expected to be ruled out.
Welsh prop Ben Flower is facing a long spell out after snapping his Achilles tendon, joining Thomas Leuluai (broken jaw), Oliver Gildart (back), Tony Clubb (kidney), Sam Tomkins (broken foot), Dom Manfredi (knee), John Bateman (shoulder) and Jake Shorrocks (knee) on the sidelines.
In a worse-case scenario, Wane would be without 14 first-team players.
But Wane has players on the sidelines ready to step in, including Liam Forsyth, Romain Navarrete, Nick Gregson, Joe Bretherton, Jack Wells and fit-again Lewis Tierney.
With such a deep squad, it is unlikely he will need to bring a youngster in for a debut, though his options at halfback and hooker will be restricted if both McIlorum and Escare are ruled out.
Williams, Leulaui and O’Loughlin are out of the picture.
Sam Powell can fill one role, if he isn’t needed at hooker, with Escare – if fit – or utility Gregson favourite for the other position.