Oliver Gildart says Wigan Warriors head coach uncertainty not having an effect
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 20/05/19 3:44pm
Oliver Gildart does not believe off-field issues at Wigan Warriors have contributed to the defending Super League champions' disappointing first half of the season.
The Warriors go into this Saturday's Magic Weekend clash with last year's beaten Grand Final opponents Warrington Wolves sitting eighth in the table and six points off the top four.
Shaun Edwards' change of heart on taking over as head coach next year and the lack of clarity over Adrian Lam's future in the role beyond this season have created an air of uncertainty around the club.
But centre Gildart insists that has had no effect on Wigan's performances and is confident the team will be able to turn around their inconsistent form.
"I don't think it has had an effect," Gildart told Sky Sports. "As a player, you just go to training every day and try to improve.
"We just turn up every day and work hard, and you can't win every game. We've struggled this year, but I like to think we'll come good at the back end of the year.
"We had a similar situation last season where we had a couple of bad defeats and everyone wrote us off, but we managed to go on a good run at the back end of the year and win the Grand Final.
"I'm not too worried yet, but we can't leave it too late and we've got to go and chase it now."
The Magic Weekend has moved to Liverpool FC's Anfield home this year, a venue with which Gildart has a family connection.
His father, Ian, was a member of the Wigan team which beat Penrith Panthers 22-4 at the ground in the 1991 World Club Challenge.
Had things worked out differently, the 22-year-old could well have found himself running out regularly across Stanley Park for Liverpool's rivals Everton, where he was on the books as a youngster.
But he opted to follow in his father's footsteps and is set to turn out for Wigan at Anfield this weekend, having played for England there in last year's Test match again New Zealand.
"It came to a stage where I had to choose one or the other and I stuck with rugby," Gildart said.
"I don't think I'd have made it as a footballer, but it's great to get back and finally play at a stadium like this."
This will be the second week in a row Gildart and his Wigan team-mates have played at an iconic venue after heading to Barcelona to face Catalans Dragons at the Nou Camp last Saturday.
It was the French side who came out on top that day, winning 33-16 in front of a record crowd for a Super League game outside the Grand Final of 31,555.
Gildart is confident the Warriors can turn things around though, having been edged out by two points against this weekend's opponents Warrington in the Challenge Cup just under two weeks ago.
"We'd like to be up there with the likes of Warrington and St Helens, but it's sport and it happens," Gildart said. "We've not been great this year, but I think we've been building a bit of momentum.
"Obviously, we fell short at Warrington a few weeks ago, but I think the performance was there and we got a bit of our old selves back, a bit of aggression in contact and stuff like that.
"Hopefully we can try to get a result this weekend and kick on for the rest of the season."