Wigan Head Coach previews Friday’s BETFRED Super League fixture versus Leeds Rhinos
Lam to face ex-Wigan teammate and new Leeds Rhinos Head Coach David Furner
We want to make this place a fortress.” – Lam on DW Stadium
Wigan Warriors Head Coach Adrian Lam believes his side must make the DW Stadium a fortress this season as they prepare for their first home tie of 2019 against Leeds Rhinos on Friday (K.O. 7:45pm).
The Cherry and Whites return to the DW Stadium for the first time since their 2018 Semi-Final victory over Castleford Tigers on Friday off the back of the opening round away defeat to rivals St Helens last Thursday.
The Head Coach explained that the team understand what went wrong in that first game as the second round approaches. “We had a sit down between the squad after the game and we agreed we didn’t play the way we had trained.
“That was the confusing part after the match, that we didn’t play the way we needed to. We were very brave and courageous in places but we can play a bit smarter and make some better choices.
“You can see it as a positive that we didn’t play the way we wanted to because I’m looking forward to seeing a change in that this week.”
Lam will be in charge of Wigan at the DW Stadium for the first time on Friday night and the former player explained that he’s not short of good memories at the ground.
He said, “I’ve got some great memories here as a player, some of the best in my lifetime in Rugby League.”
On facing the Rhinos in the opener – It’s important that we respond this week in this home game. It’s not about me, it’s about the team and making sure that we play the way we want to play.”
Leeds began the season with a defeat to Warrington and Lam was slightly surprised by the manner of the loss.
“I think everybody was surprised and they will all be disappointed. They are probably having similar conversations that we are having.
“We are not going to take them lightly. They’ve been a great club over a long period of time and we know that they will bounce back.”
Lam will lock horns with an ex-Wigan teammate on Friday with David Furner at the helm of Leeds Rhinos. On facing Furner Lam said, “I made my debut for Wigan with him back in 2001 so we are both coming back here for the first time.
“As a coach I know him pretty well and he will be shattered with that performance from the weekend and will want to leave here with the two points.
“However, in 2019 we want to make this place a fortress where we dominate home games so I’m looking forward to a good performance from our side and making sure Dave is still without a win after Friday.”
On the injury front, the key omission from the St Helens squad was winger Dom Manfredi, who Lam explained was taken out due to having fluid on his knee.
“He had a clean out [on his knee] last week so he will be between two and five weeks. Hopefully he will be back in time for the Roosters game, although it doesn’t look likely at the moment.
“I spoke to him this morning and he’s a lot more confident that it’s feeling different to what it did before the clean out.”
On the two other injury concerns from the game Lam said, “Tony Clubb is clear to play, so is Gabe Hamlin who took a bit of a knock.”
On any additions to the squad the Head Coach said, “In the 19 we will be adding Liam Byrne, one of our young players. He’s a front rower who has big potential at the Club. He’s been added to the squad to gain a bit more experience and if he keeps going the way he is then I’m sure it’ll be in no time that he gets an opportunity.” Find out more on Wigan’s young prop-forward HERE.
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