As appeared in Wigan Evening Post 18th Man Page - 12th July 2016
18-10 down with twelve men and just fifteen minutes left on the clock, you just couldnít see any way for Wigan to win match from that position but they, like so often this season, found a way to win the game and go top of the table.
Top of the table. Remarkable given Wigan still have the second worst attack in Super League. Itís pretty illogical that can be the case but whilst you can dwell on that and our lowly points difference, I think it is actually showing a marked improvement from Wigan this season and is far from the massive negative some think it is.
On the face of it you might look at the fact we were milliseconds from League Leaders last season and are up there again and think nothing has changed this year but in reality thatís not the case.
The fact we won every home game masked the fact we were absolute garbage for most of the year away from home in 2015. Horrible losses at Castleford, Catalan, twice at Saints, the first trip to Warrington and we failed twice at Headingley as well.
I was doing it, fans were doing it and Iím sure the players were doing it as well. Coming away from those kind of games in total and utter dejection. Itís only natural.
This year our away win rate has gone from 37% up to a massive 80%. Clearly instead of coming home with dejection, youíre coming home with a consistent build-up of belief and that is so important.
If Iím honest, I felt last year that Wigan simply did not have a clue how to win that Grand Final and I feel that was the case because we hadnít really earned the belief. The score line at Old Trafford was tight but we never looked close to troubling Leeds in that last quarter.
Our improved away form should be massive towards turning that around but also the fact we have consistently shown that we now do have a clue what to do in tight situations.
TEN times now this season Wigan have won a game by seven points or less. I mentioned this fact on twitter on Sunday and a Warrington fan replied ďoh if it had gone the other way youíd be well down the tableĒ and perhaps heís right, but it hasnít!
Itís showing great character and that, along with the improved away form, should be building up big belief into the Wigan side. Whether it will be enough to see silverware lifted will be the ultimate test, that is what the season will be judged on, but itís building confidence for the run in with me thatís for sure.