Coach Looks Ahead With Optimism

Wigan Warriors return home on Thursday after a very successful spell of warm weather training in the Algarve.

It is now just over two weeks to the engage Super League opener in France and next Thursday 2nd February, Wigan will play Huddersfield Giants at the JJB in a pre-season friendly, 7.45pm kick off.

The fans are all looking forward to the big kick off and Head Coach Ian Millward says the club go into 2006 on the back of many good things from the final games of 2005,

"We won eight of our last ten games and in those games we used alot of our young kids and that gave us optimism and confidence for the future. The second half of the year put us in a position where we want to go, that we do have quality young players coming through and we want to be successful. That has been reflected in the close season with some of the people we have brought in as well.

"Every Super League club look to have brought in some good players. No-one has sat back, everyone has brought new faces in. We have six new players as well as bringing through players from our academy into our top squad and from the experience they gained in 2005 they are better prepared."

On the first game against Catalans Dragons, Ian added,

"It is a daunting task. When you look around the world at new franchises, they normally win their first game. That's because all the fans are behind them, they have had so long to prepare for it and the intensity and focus is over six months. It is a huge task for us, it's one we are looking forward and I expect us to go to France and win .We then face Leeds Rhinos here which is the following Friday. That is two tough games and will give us an early indication where we are at and where we are going."

On the fans support for the club Ian said,

"We have been delighted with season ticket sales, it re-inforces how big a club Wigan are and how loyal and supportive the fans are. It is fantastic and there is a real buzz around the place. As a club we haven't spoken yet about goals, but we expect to be in the top six for sure."

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