Adrian Lam salutes his Wigan Warriors players after beating Leeds Rhinos
Adrian Lam was relieved to emerge from a "pretty tough week" with a 23-14 win at Leeds.
Just five days after edging a tense match at Hull KR - and with the off-field disruption of Taulima Tautai's drink-drive conviction - they claimed a victory which moves Wigan to within two points of the top-five.
"It's a really important win," Lam said. "There was a fair bit of pressure on us and I think the players understood that. We knew it would go down to the wire so we prepped for that.
"It's been a tough week - a short turnaround, a bit of drama midweek, three representative players injured.
"So to go to Leeds, who were on the back of two wins - this was a really good result.
"I thought the first half, bar the last error, was probably our best of the season, it was more like the team we wanted to be. The two tries they scored, they didn't strip us down, they sort of fell over the line and we can fix that.
"I'm pretty proud of the team."
The Warriors' defensive effort was magnificent as they limited the hosts to two tries and took a 17-14 lead into a frantic final few minutes, before Tony Clubb's late effort added the gloss.
Chris Hankinson then booted his fifth goal to maintain his perfect strike-rate and seal an impressive night, in which he limited the impact of Leeds' blockbusting centre Konrad Hurrell.
"Making the decision to put Dan Sarginson at full-back, Morgan (Escare) should have been in there but we needed a goal-kicker and Hank is also probably our best one-on-one defender as well," explained Lam.
"I knew they'd go to Hurrell a fair bit, which they did, and Hank did a good job there."
Lam had Jarrod Sammut on the bench but didn't bring him on. He added: "When we didn't manage the third quarter well, we'd need to make a couple of positional changes to get him on and it wasn't the best for the team. I've spoken to him and he understands it."
Wigan should have Zak Hardaker and Joe Greenwood back for their next game, at Huddersfield on Friday,