Betts plays down Wigan crisis talk

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The Independent Online

Wigan's Denis Betts denies feeling under any extra pressure following another eventful week.

Wigan's Denis Betts denies feeling under any extra pressure following another eventful week.

His team came under heavy criticism after an unimpressive win over Union Treiziste Catalan in the Challenge Cup last weekend and takeover rumours reached such a pitch that the club's chairman, Maurice Lindsay, had to speak out to deny them.

A few miles away, the most successful coach in Super League is out of work since St Helens sacked Ian Millward.

"There's always pressure in this job," Betts said. "People keep asking how bad it would have been if we'd lost to UTC. But the fact is that we didn't lose and I never felt it was out of control."

As for the speculation about the future of the club now that Wigan Athletic have been promoted to the Premiership, Betts insisted: "We don't talk about things that we can't control. We didn't do that over Andy Farrell and we're not doing it over what happens with the football club going up.

"We're about getting some results and creating a habit of winning. We've got it in us to play well and eventually it will come our way."

For all that, Warrington, who agreed a contract extension with Mike Wainwright this week, will knock Wigan out of the top six if they win a match at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium tomorrow for which they start as marginal favourites.

Wigan have a stronger-looking squad available with Brian Carney, Danny Orr and Danny Tickle hoping to be fit and Wayne McDonald available again after being Cup-tied against UTC.

London will go above Huddersfield if they beat them at the Galpharm in another of tomorrow's well-balanced contests. Danny Williams is suspended for one match for a high tackle, but the Broncos have Anthony Armour available to replace him on the bench.

Huddersfield include Hefin O'Hare and Stuart Donlan, although both are regarded as doubtful, and they will also give late fitness tests to Chris Thorman and Stanley Gene.

At the foot of the table, Widnes badly need to make up ground by winning at Wakefield tomorrow night. Gary Connolly is back from his honeymoon and three experienced forwards - Terry O'Connor, Mick Cassidy and John Stankevitch - are recalled after being rested for last week's Challenge Cup victory at Barrow. Wakefield are still without David Solomona and Chris Feather, but have Colum Halpenny back in contention.

The Widnes coach Frank Endacott has set his team the task of winning half their remaining games to save themselves from relegation.

"I said from day one we would have to win 10 games and I haven't changed that, so we need another eight from 16," he said. "We see this as a four-pointer"

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