Shaun Wane: Form goes out of window in derby games

Drew Darbyshire

Wigan coach Shaun Wane is confident that his side can beat old rivals St Helens on Thursday.

The Warriors host the Saints at the DW Stadium on Thursday, 7:45pm kick-off.

Wigan lost at Huddersfield last week, while St Helens have won their last 12 games, but Wane believes his side can return to winning ways this week.

He said: “One thing I will never do with my team is write us off.

“There is a lot of desire in this club and it’s a Wigan v St Helens game and form goes out the window in these games. Having players out injured doesn’t matter, it’s Wigan v Saints, the biggest derby in the competition and it means a lot to everybody.

“The most important thing for me is what it means to people of Wigan and the players understand how personal this is and how good of a win it would be on Thursday.

“The atmosphere is second to none really. The atmosphere is always great against them, but I have the ultimate respect for St Helens and they have it for us. I know the fans dislike each other but there is a lot of respect between coaching staff, officials and players like we always have for each other, and that makes it better when we get the win.”

Saints are currently top of the Super League table, eight points ahead of second-placed Warriors.

Injuries aren’t going Wigan’s way at the minute, with Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin, Ryan Sutton and Dom Manfredi all on the sidelines.

But Wane has full faith in his youthful side, he added: “I don’t feel like our backs are against the wall.

“We’ve recently had a fantastic win against Leeds and we grounded to win against a very good Warrington team. We lost to Huddersfield last week, but we go up against a very good Saints team this week and we are playing at home in front of our own fans, so it is going to be a great day.

“Everything is positive. We’ve got some great kids coming through, but my immediate thought is winning this weekend and putting my best team out on Thursday.

“We’ve got a few problems with injuries at the minute, but we are training well, the spirit is good, the players know how big the game is, so it is going to be a big day.”

Wane revealed that Dan Sarginson, John Bateman and Joe Greenwood could return for Wigan on Thursday. Check out the 19-man squads here.