Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam issues 'pressure' warning to Castleford ace Jake Trueman
Adrian Lam has fired a warning shot across the Pennines - and insisted it won't by The Trueman Show when Wigan face Castleford.
Trueman was the star of the show as he registered a hat-trick in a 44-12 demolition of Hull FC last week to keep alive their play-offs hopes.
Lam is well aware of his abilities but has backed his players to put the shackles on the 20-year-old.
And he even reckons the prospect of facing Warriors right-edge will have got into Trueman's head as he prepares for the Sky Sports-televised showdown.
“Trueman is the key player, but he’s up against the best defensive edge in the competition on our right hand side," said Lam, nodding to the unit of Thomas Leuluai, Willie Isa, Dan Sarginson and Bevan French.
“He’s not going to have the space he’s had over the last couple of weeks - we’re going to put a fair bit of pressure on him.
“As a player, you know who you’re playing against and what they’re capable of... I know he’s going to be thinking about our right edge."
Trueman scored a hat-trick against Wigan two years ago in only his second senior appearance.
He has kicked on since then, and was this week shortlisted - along with Warriors' Morgan Smithies - for the Super League Young Player of the Year award.
And Lam has also challenged his own middle unit - set to be boosted by the return of Ben Flower and Sean O'Loughlin - to limit their opportunities.
“The strength of Cas comes through the middle in their forward pack and he plays off the back of that," said Lam.
“They’re a big forward pack - if we allow them to play rugby it’ll be a tough game.
“That’ll be the biggest challenge for us.
“It’s going to be a tough game and it’ll go down to the wire - it’ll be two points either way, that’s what I’m predicting.”
If Wigan win they will secure second spot ahead of the play-offs.
But if they lose, they risk slipping to third or even fourth, depending how Warrington and Salford get on the following night.
"It's still in our hands," said Lam. "If you're sitting there wanting other results to go your way, I don't think you can say you deserve to be in second spot.
"We've got a tough game, it'll come down to the wire, I just know they're prepared to work hard for each other.
"It's exciting but we've still got a lot of work to do, and the players are humble, they understand that."