Shaun Wane has urged everyone to judge Wigan at the end of the season after they crashed to a 50-34 defeat at lowly Leigh.
It leaves the Warriors without a Super League win in seven matches ahead of next weekend’s Challenge Cup tie at Warrington.
Wane knows their alarming run of recent results has given critics a reason to sharpen their knives.
But the coach urged his team to stay strong, and fans to show patience, pointing to the handful of key personnel he hopes to drip-feed back into the side over the next fortnight including England internationals Sam Tomkins, John Bateman, Sean O’Loughlin and Liam Farrell.
He said: “It’s all right people looking down their noses and seeing us in a bad situation, but we’ll see what happens at the end of the year.
“We’re a strong group, we know where we’re at and who is coming back, and everyone knows what we’re capable of - that’s the important thing.
“It’s not a testing time, it’s just frustrating to score so many points but we can’t defend. It can’t carry on, and it won’t carry on.
“There are reasons but I don’t want to make excuses, Leigh were too good. To concede 50 is too much.
“We’ll train hard, I have potentially the same team coming back which beat Cronulla, I know people will think negatively of us... we have some young players gaining unbelievable experience.
“Let’s see where we are in a few weeks, and judge us then.”
Wigan trailed 20-14 at half-time but Oliver Gildart’s classy try - on his comeback from a three-month lay-off - cut the gap to just two-points.
But any hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished as Leigh scored three tries in a 10-minute spell - all close-range darts from dummy-half.
And Wane said: “Our goal-line defence was unacceptable. Unacceptable.
“At half-time, I thought we were still in it, but our attitude to defend our goal-line went in the second-half and it cost us dearly.
“We were way off.
“It’s going to be a tough week for the players, we need to make sure we have a good look at ourselves regarding our attitude to defend.
“I can make all the excuses in the world, at the end of the day we need to stay strong, see who’s coming back, understand what works for us and get back into it.”