Wigan Warriors winger Liam Marshall is adamant Adrian Lam is the right man to take charge of the club next season.
The coach hopes to know within the next few weeks if he will be at the DW Stadium in 2020 after initially taking the job on an interim basis.
After a rocky start to the season, Wigan are steadily improving now Lam has had chance to see his style of play develop, and Marshall hopes the side will now kick on under his leadership.
“At the beginning of the season, it didn’t go as planned,” the 23-year-old admitted.
“He’s setting out his stall and implementing his style of coaching. It was a tough transition but he is the right man.
“He’s passionate about the job, he’s enjoying his time over here and we’re starting to get some results.”
After losing eight of their opening 11 games this season, Warriors have steadily recovered to be within touching distance of the play-offs.
“Obviously it was a tough transition period with a coach of Waney’s calibre leaving and Lammy coming in and trying to do some new things,” explained Marshall.
“It’s taken a lot of time but we’re clicking now with what he’s implementing in training and the run of results recently has put us in good stead.
“He’s implemented some new stuff which is good, but it’s just taken time for the lads and some of the near lads to get their heads round.
“Being in the Wigan system like I was since 17 you were taught the same thing, and Waney was always head coach so it’s just different styles from a different coach. But now they’re
clicking and you can see what he wants to do he will be a successful coach.”
Wigan picked up two points at Huddersfield Giants last Friday to help them move up to a more comfortable position on the table.
And Lam’s side could leapfrog over Friday’s opponents Salford Red Devils into fifth place if they record their fourth successive victory.
Marshall who scored in last week’s 38-22 success at Huddersfield, says keeping an eye on the table isn’t the Wigan players’ favourite pastime just yet.
“The league table is not the main thing. It’s about results and performances and the league will take care of itself,” he said.
“We have some big games coming up starting Friday against Salford but if we beat them we’ll be challenging for the play-offs.
“You look at the season as a whole, everyone’s been beating everyone and teams have got results where you wouldn’t have expected them to.
“Teams have slipped up where they’d usually get wins and you can’t predict it week to week.”
“If we can knock some results off now going into the back end of the year we can be in a good position to challenge for Old Trafford.”
One or two players in the Salford ranks will also be facing-up against their future employers at the DW Stadium.
Centre Jake Bibby is on board for 2020, while Warriors are believed to be leading the chase for half-back Jackson Hastings.
And Marshall already has experience of playing against Bibby in the junior ranks.
“It’s a strange one when they get announced so early at the minute but at the minute they’re just players at another club,” he said.
“Jake Bibby played against me at Wigan St Pat’s.
“Jake’s similar to me. He was from Wigan and went under the radar and came good at 18 or 19, but we didn’t cross paths that much.”
But Marshall is more concerned with how Wigan can turn their improving form into a play-off charge after almost two months on the road.
“We’re just looking to be getting in that top five and playing our best rugby,” he said.
“We’re lucky we still have a chance to challenge for that top five because at one point it looked like we’d be a million miles off.
“We had some tough chats in the meeting rooms about where we are.”
They are now at home for seven of their last 10 games in the regular season, with only visits to St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield left to battle through, and Marshall hopes that advantage
will help as they aim to peak at the right time.
“We know we’re still not where we need to be or where we want to be and we have to keep our feet on the ground,” he said.
“(But being on the road has) been a blessing in disguise.
“You take the tough period of away games, but at the end of the year when you need to win you’re at home.
“We’re looking forward to being at home for a change.”