Shaun Wane will not instruct his side to chase points – even though for-and-against may settle a race which is heading down to the wire.
Wigan’s crushing 60-12 win against Wakefield on Friday saw them move level with leaders Hull FC, and eat into their poor points difference.
FC have +126, which is double Wigan’s tally of +63.
Warriors missed out on the league leaders’ shield to Leeds due to for-and-against last season, and with only six games to go before the play-offs, it could again decide the table-toppers before the Grand Final battle gets underway.
But Wane says he is unconcerned about the ‘Diff’ column on the table.
“I’m not, it doesn’t enter my head,” he said. “It probably should, but it doesn’t.
“Our defence has been quite good, I just want us to attack really well, and if we do that the points will come. We tweaked a few things last week, and I just want us to improve on that, and build on it.
“The league leaders’ shield is the first one up for us, and it’s one we want to win.
“But the only thing we can control is what we do. I’m a big believer we will get what we deserve from it.”
Wane points to their 62-0 loss at Wakefield earlier this year – with a side decimated by injuries and illnesses – for distorting their poor for-and-against tally this year.
“Get rid of the Wakefield game and we’re up there with Hull,” he said.
“So it’s just fickle people, not looking at the bigger picture. And the fact we’re joint-top is testament to the work we’ve put in.”
Wane takes his side to Castleford tomorrow, with England forward Liam Farrell (rib) and Kiwi centre Anthony Gelling (pectoral) set to come back into the frame after long injury lay-offs.
Wigan have beaten Castleford three times already this year, but their coach Daryl Powell told TotalRL.com: “There’s not much between the teams in terms of potential – it’s just about what happens on the day.
“We’re certainly not in awe of Wigan, that’s for sure, not by any stretch of the imagination.
“We don’t believe that they’ve got the right to beat us either.
“We’ll be going out there trying to fight fire with fire; that’s what you’ve got to do when you play Wigan.”
After the two sides last met in the Super League at the Jungle, which Wigan won 33-26, Wane was far from blown away by the performance from his side.
And Powell took some offence to a comment made by the Wigan coach that they were at “four or five out of 10”.
Powell said: “I’ve said before that wasn’t a great thing to say, and from our point of view I think we should be highly motivated.
“I’m hoping the way Wigan go on a bit brings the best out of us.”