Wigan Warriors need to ignore 'white noise', says Liam Marshall
Tonight’s derby against Warrington is followed four days later by a trip to face St Helens – who have no midweek match themselves, after injury-hit Castleford forfeited the game.
After three Super League losses in a row, the Warriors are feeling the heat and Marshall says it’s important to ignore the criticism and questions on social media and in the media.
The winger said: “For us as a club, and the history we have, I think everyone expects us to be winning every week.
“The opposition teams want to beat us and you can spend a lot of time listening to that outside pressure that there will be.
“But I think we have just got to focus on ourselves and do the right thing for the team to get through it. I think in all the years I’ve been at Wigan, this is my fifth season and we’ve had a rough patch at least once.
“This is just one of those so hopefully we can start knocking a few results off and get back to where we need to be.
“I can remember spells when we’ve lost games on the bounce or had tough periods, it seems to happen with us.
“Our standards have slipped and that’s not acceptable, but there’s still a lot of time before the big crunch games.
“There is a lot of pressure, but we tend to, as a group, not listen to or read that. We just do what we do day in and day out.
“Lads can read what they want to read and there will always be speculation around Wigan. It’s just the nature of the club we’re at.
“But I think you’ve just got to ignore the noise. If you believed and read everything in the paper or on Twitter and Instagram, you’d be worrying about something every day.
“When I started, there’s a tendency to play a game and then jump on your phone, and everyone is a critic and everyone is a rugby pundit, and you could sit there all night and read and it could cut you up, you could lose sleep over it.
As I’ve got older I tend to ignore it. There are only a few people’s opinions I value, in terms of rugby, they’re the lads inside this building and my family at home.
“As a kid you could spend a lot of time thinking, ‘Am I good enough to be here? Am I in the right place?’ but you wouldn’t get there if you weren’t.
“So you should value the right people but there’s also a lot of white noise – they’re entitled to their opinion, fair enough, but it’s not always the right one and it shouldn’t affect you.”
Wigan have posted just three tries in their last three matches – which for Marshall highlights where they need to improve.
“It would be attacking-wise,” he said. “The Wakefield game, we weren’t happy to concede two tries, but they weren’t big fixes.
“We’ve not been executing well in attack and we’ve had our chances and not put them to bed, so if we can put some good attacking play together we’ll give ourselves a chance and we need to defend well against a side in an attacking mood at the minute.
“The main one is to sort out our attack and that will help when lads come back and into their natural positions.”
He played full-back against Wakefield, as Wigan lost 14-6, but is set to revert to his preferred wing role tonight in just his third game back since a serious knee injury.
“I knew I wouldn’t be back to where I was before I got injured straight away, but I felt better after the second game than the first game so hopefully it can carry on with that chain,” he added. “We have a few games in a short period of time so hopefully when I get a few games under my belt.”