Adrian Lam admits beating Hull FC is critical if Wigan are to finish in Super League’s top three.
Lee Radford’s outfit are four points clear of the fourth-placed Warriors.
While an away victory would cut the deficit to two points, defeat would open up a six-point gap – with just five matches left.
“Absolutely we need to win this to get into the top-three,” he said. "If we don’t win this, with five to go it’s going to be hard to catch them.
“They beat us in golden-point and we’ve not forgotten about that.”
Under the structure of the play-offs, there’s a distinct advantage to finishing third ahead of fourth, including the safety net of a ‘second bite’ if they lose their first match.
And while Lam has his sights on third spot, there’s a sense he is more concerned with their form heading into the play-offs.
“We believe that if we can get to where we want to be with our performances, we’ll be able to trouble sides – and that’s whether we finish third, fourth or fifth,” he said.
“But obviously we want to finish as high up the ladder as we can.”
Hull are playing five days after losing a Challenge Cup tie to Warrington, after Sky Sports brought this fixture forward.
Lam added: “We’ve had a week off so we need to start with energy and aggression. They’re a team who are difficult to beat at home.”