Shaun Wane hopes an impromptu trip to a wrestling pit will bring the bite back to Wigan’s defence tomorrow night.
The coach started their preparations for the visit of Huddersfield with a “blow-out” grappling session.
They only usually use the padded wrestle-room at their Central Park HQ in pre-season. But Wane was so disappointed with their slack defensive effort in a 32-16 loss at Leeds last week he threw the extra training session into their plans.
And he says the players responded as he hoped, swelling his confidence fans will see a much-better display this time out.
Asked whether it was normal-practice to visit the wrestle pit during the season, Wane replied: “No, no.
“If I’m annoyed with them, we go there. And the players like having a blow-out.
“They were angry, they didn’t like how they performed against Leeds.
“They ripped into each other, and that was driven by them, which was great.
“Individual defensive errors let us down against Leeds - and hopefully we fixed it in the wrestle pit.”
Eighth-placed Wigan are now four points adrift of a top-four spot with six league games to go.
And Wane concedes they may need other results to go in their favour if they are to dislodge either St Helens or Hull FC from one of the play-offs spots.
“I’ve verbalised it but the players aren’t stupid - they know we have to win our games, and even now we’re wanting other teams to do certain things,” he said.
“And that’s why the Warrington defeat (16-10 last month) still annoys me, because those two points would have made a big difference.”
Sam Powell returns from suspension and replaces Josh Ganson on the bench in the only change to Wane’s squad.
Michael Lawrence replaces Sam Rapira in Huddersfield’s 19-man panel. The two sides have met twice this season, drawing both.
“The draw we got there was lucky, we weren’t the best team,” added Wane.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’re doing, and the way they’re playing.
The game kicks-off at 8pm and is not televised.
Wigan’s 19-man squad: Bateman, Burgess, Clubb, Davies, Farrell, Gelling, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Mcilorum, Nuuausala, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sutton, Tautai, S Tomkins, Wells, Williams.
Huddersfield’s 19-man squad: McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gaskell, Danny Brough, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Lawrence, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Ta’ai, Clough, Mason, Smith, Dickinson, McIntosh, Mellor, O’Brien, Turner, Rankin.