WAKEFIELD Wildcats head coach John Kear insists a much-improved performance is the order of the day for his men at the DW Stadium tonight.
Kear takes his troops across the Pennines with the odds stacked against them to get a result against Super League leaders Wigan Warriors.
Wildcats have fallen to defeat in their last four league outings, conceding 40 points on more in each game, and also lost 26-0 at home against the Lancashire club in the reverse encounter.
But while taking points from the match would be a welcome boost for the Cats, Kear knows a good performance against the leaders is vital for the season as a whole for his side.
“I think the pressure is off,” he said.
“We’re going over there with people expecting us to get a shellacking. If we get a shellacking that’s what everyone said we’d get. If we don’t and we play well they’ll say ‘good on you, well done and perhaps they’re back on the horse a bit.
“We could take heart from last week. First half Saints put us to the sword. But at least we showed a bit of resilience, resolve and fight which was perhaps reminiscent of some of the play we had earlier in the season.”
“There were things we could build on from that second half for Wigan and we’d like to take things from the Wigan game that we can take into last few games of the season.”
Kear knows the quality the Warriors possess in their ranks and takes his injury-hit Wakefield squad to Lancashire knowing full well the tough task that lies in wait.
“Let’s be realistic when you look down their playing roster it’s a great playing roster,” he said.
“Any team that can rotate [Thomas] Leuluai and [Ryan] Hoffman with half an eye on a Challenge Cup quarter-final has obviously got a good deep squad.
“They’re a quality team no doubt about that, they’ve grown as the season has gone on and they’ll play their best rugby towards the end of the season.”
On his own injury-hit squad, Kear said: “We’re a thin squad and running short of numbers but that’s part of the game and I don’t want to use that as an excuse.
“I’d rather say we’re turning out a team that’s representing us, as a squad, with the limitations we’ve had this year and if we give our all that’s all you can ask.”
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