Why Adrian Lam believes Wigan Warriors are at a "turning point"
Adrian Lam believes victory tonight could be the “turning point” of Wigan’s rollercoaster season.
The Warriors head to Huddersfield just five days after beating the same side 16-12.
That hard-fought triumph snapped a five-game losing run for Lam’s side, blowing away some of the doubts about the play-offs prospects this year.
But Lam – still missing a handful of senior stars – has underlined the importance of claiming another win this evening.
He reckons back-to-back victories could be the perfect, solid footing to get back on track as they begin to dripfeed some experienced players such as suspended Jackson Hastings and injured trio Zak Hardaker, John Bateman and Dom Manfredi back into the fold.
He said: “I’m glad it’s a five day turnaround because we can hopefully run off the back of the confidence of last week’s win.
“But it’ll be a tough job for us and this is a massive turning point in our season.
“If we get the win, one or two players start drifting back in and the confidence builds, and suddenly we find ourselves back on the roll and we can get to our best rugby.
“We’re nowhere near attacking the way I want us to, or defending as we want to. We’re just doing enough and that was enough at the weekend, we got the two points.
“So we should take confidence from that, stick close to each other and keep improving, dig deep and get the two points.
“It’s a really important period for us.”
The coach may have lost Hastings from last week’s line-up – a savage blow, given his influence – but he has got young props Ethan Havard and Ollie Partington to help add some firepower in the middle.
“With two fresh front-rowers coming back, it gives you some energy through the middle you hope,” added Lam. “But it’s going to be a tough job.”
He was deciding yesterday whether to hand the full-back role to Umyla Hanley or Liam Marshall – the latter took the gig when Hastings was absent at Wakefield.
Either way, Sam Halsall or James McDonnell are likely to come into the backline.
England winger Jermaine McGillvary has returned to the squad which lost 16-12 to Wigan on Sunday but Ian Watson is still without a clutch of frontline stars, including influential halfback Aidan Sezer.
Tonight’s game (kick-off 7.45pm) was due to take place on June 11 but was postponed because of a number of Covid-19 cases in the Giants camp. The game is not televised by Sky Sports.