WINGER Darrell Goulding has had to carry the can in the fall-out from Wigan’s shock loss to Catalan last week.
The 23-year-old – who scored an incredible 29 tries last season – is the only front-line player dropped from the squad for tomorrow night’s trip to Hull KR.
Michael Maguire had threatened to make several changes to his side in attempt to arrest a three-match win-less run, the last of which was a 47-28 defeat to the Dragons.
He even hinted that he may draft youngsters such as Logan Tomkins and Dom Crosby into the frame.
But when he named his 19-man squad yesterday afternoon, Goulding was the only major omission. There is still no place for Australian winger Amos Roberts, who also missed out last week.
But Liam Farrell comes back into the equation after being dropped, and Paul Deacon (injury) and Jeff Lima (suspension) are back in the squad.
Maguire still has two other players to cull before kick-off at Craven Park tomorrow night and, if he decides to move Joel Tomkins to centre – as he suggested earlier this week – then Chris Tuson and Stefan Marsh could be under threat.
Alternatively, the return of stand-off Deacon may see Australian Brett Finch – who is still finding his feet in the team – make way from the starting line-up.
Maguire said making changes to his team was important to help them get back to winning ways.
And he says the players appreciate being kept on their toes by a competitive squad and a transparent selection policy.
“The players are lucky to be in an environment that if they’re not performing, someone else is there,” he said.
“This is a special club and if you don’t perform you don’t get to play for Wigan.”
Maguire was still not commenting on wide-spread speculation over his own future but insisted off-field matters – including Martin Gleeson’s exit – have not affected the squad.
“No not at all,” he said. “We’re a strong group here and we’re making sure we continue to improve.”