Stone expecting a “desperate” Wigan side tonight

Huddersfield coach Rick Stone admits tonight’s opponents Wigan will be “desperate” when they arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The seventh-placed Giants take on the eighth-placed Warriors tonight in a huge game which could leave the loser staring nervously over their shoulder at the bottom four and a spell in the Qualifiers.

And despite the return of so many star players last week, Stone believes Wigan will be “desperate” for victory this evening.

He said: “They’ve got some senior players back last week, and in particular some key players, and they scraped through a tough one against Warrington in the Challenge Cup.

“They’ve always got to be respected. We’re expecting a pretty desperate side and for us, every game becomes our most important of the year. If we want to keep moving forward and secure a place in the eight then we’ve got to perform this week.”

Stone is also adamant that, with his own side on an impressive run of form, they are progressing as he would like as they look to secure a top-eight finish in his first full season in charge.

He said: “We’re comfortable we’re heading in the right direction; we know we’re not the finished article yet and we’ve got to keep challenging ourselves. The boys understand the sort of effort that’s needed every week to win tough, close games, and I was proud of the effort they put in last week.

“It was nice to win under those circumstances because there’d be plenty of times previously where we wouldn’t have managed to get it done.”