1 May 2019

Offiah: Warriors need quick appointment

FORMER WIGAN WARRIORS FAVOURITE MARTIN OFFIAH FEELS HIS OLD CLUB NEED TO MAKE A QUICK COACHING APPOINTMENT, BUT HAS WARNED THAT TURNING AROUND THEIR AILING FORTUNES WILL NOT BE A STRAIGHTFORWARD JOB.

The Warriors have eased their Betfred Super League relegation fears with back-to-back wins over Salford Red Devils and Castleford Tigers but are still desperately in need of points as they prepare to take on bottom club London Broncos, another of Offiah’s former clubs, at the DW Stadium on Thursday night.

Interim head coach Adrian Lam has expressed an interest in keeping the job following Shaun Edwards’ about-turn but, regardless of who Wigan turn to, Offiah believes they face a big task.

“It’s been a tough season for both my old clubs,” the former Great Britain international told Press Association Sport.

“Obviously Wigan are reeling from getting deducted the two points, the whole Shaun Edwards fiasco, a lot of established players leaving and rumblings about George Williams possibly going to Canberra.

“They are going to have to come through a lot. Are they going to make the play-offs? Each week they don’t win, it’s going to make it tougher for them and the gulf between them and St Helens on Good Friday was vast.

“Regardless of who is coaching them, are they going to have the personnel? It’s all very well having the greatest coach in the world, if you haven’t got the personnel on the pitch to do the job, he will find it hard.

“I think they have to get their strategy right, moving forward and get things in place. Whoever is going to come in, you want them to be in position as early as possible.

“If they announce it too late, then how is the coach going to be in a position to steer the ship next season?”

Offiah, 52, who was guest of honour at Wigan’s World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters in February, has been a regular visitor to the Ealing Trailfinders this season as part of his new role on the Steve Prescott Man of Steel selection panel and witnessed the Broncos’ shock 18-16 win over Wigan in March.

That was one of three wins from the Londoners’ first seven matches back in Super League but six straight defeats have sent them tumbling down the ladder.

“It was always going to be tough for them, especially when you know the likes of Leeds and Wigan are going to pick up which is probably going to leave them at the foot of the table,” added Offiah.

“Most of their wins have been at home, on the 4G, but after a bright start, it’s a case of ‘has the bubble burst?’

“All it takes is one good win and they have an important game in May when they play Wakefield at home, I think that will be pivotal for them.”

Offiah’s comments come on the 20th anniversary of the Broncos’ historic appearance at Wembley, where he was a try-scorer in their 52-16 Challenge Cup final defeat by Leeds Rhinos.

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