Wigan coach Shaun Wane is hopeful his side can thrive in their first ‘full-blooded’ derby in Leigh for years on Thursday night.
The Warriors have not won any of their last six games ahead of the trip to the Leigh Sports Village this evening, and are looking to keep pace with the leading pack against their local rivals.
Wane’s side won the first meeting at the DW Stadium earlier in the year, and he insists that regardless of their poor run, he is hopeful the derby atmosphere will bring the best out of his players.
“If we hadn’t lost a game for the last two months we’d still want to win this one,” said Wane.”It’s a derby and against a club where we all have a lot of personal friends. The spectators might not like each other but the staff have a very high respect for each other.
“It’s going to be a very tense, tough game. It’s been a long time since we had a full-blooded derby game in Leigh so it’ll be a fantastic atmosphere.
“They’re a big, aggressive team and very tough to beat on their own pitch. We’re expecting a real tough encounter. One thing you need to do at Leigh is start well and silence the crowd. There’s a lot of ex-Wigan players there and players I’ve coached. It’s going to be aggressive and it’s going to be great. It’s going to be a real derby.”
Wane also said they will not underestimate the Centurions – who sit bottom of the table heading into Thursday night’s game.
He said: “I’m under no illusions; Leigh can play. Neil and his staff have done a really great job.”