SHAUN Wane insists he won’t be taking depleted Hull FC lightly tonight.
The Black and Whites are ravaged by injuries and bookmakers are predicting a landslide score at the DW Stadium.
Lee Radford made the surprise move of naming only 18 players in his provisional 19-man squad – many of them academy players.
And with Wigan unbeaten at home since being edged out by Brisbane at the start of the year, many expect Wane’s men to pile on the points in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Hull FC – 16/1 outsiders with some bookies – can’t reach the play-offs spot.
But the Warriors boss is urging caution and is well aware his players have been troubled in the past in games when they’ve been expected to win comfortably.
Wane said: “We’ll not be complacent. People say they’ve not much to play for but I know Lee well, I liked him as a player and I like him as a coach, and he’ll have his players motivated to have a dig.
“If I was in that position I’d want to see some good performances before pre-season - Lee won’t allow his team to lie down.
“We’re expecting a competitive side, and we’ll give them the respect they deserve.”
Hull’s frontline stars such as Joe Westerman, Gareth Ellis, Leon Pryce and overseas stars Steve Michaels, Fetuli Talanoa and Setaimata Sa are among their absentees.
By contrast, Wane has a strong squad to select from with only forward Liam Farrell and Dan Sarginson missing out through injury.
Indeed, the coach will have the luxury of leaving England winger Josh Charnley – or in-form Dom Manfredi – out of his squad.
He has hinted both winger Joe Burgess and centre Anthony Gelling are expected to come back into the frame, having missed the cut for their 42-16 win against Catalans last Saturday.
And Wane admits he has had to tweak his selection policy – of picking players based on form – to ensure he has a squad fit and firing for the rest of the campaign.
With no reserve-level competition, Gelling has been recalled to give him match-fitness.
Wane admits the Kiwi dropped below his standards before being dropped, but added: “Some of Gells’ form this year has been outstanding so I just need him to get back to that.”
Second-placed Wigan trail Leeds by two points and will draw level at the top – for 24 hours at least – with victory tonight, in their first match at the DW in more than a month.
Leeds, who boast a better for-and-against, are at Catalans tomorrow.
Wigan finish the regular season with games against St Helens (a) and Castleford (h), while Leeds face Castleford (h) and Huddersfield (a).