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Jon Wilkin responds to suggestions close friend Paul Wellens is ‘under pressure’ at St Helens

Paul Wellens St Helens

St Helens lost to Castleford Tigers last week and now find themselves six points behind Wigan Warriors, who they play on Friday night.

They’re level on points with Hull KR, Salford Red Devils and Warrington Wolves in second, but could actually face falling out of the playoffs altogether if they don’t improve, being just four points ahead of seventh-placed Leeds Rhinos.

Now, they face a big game against Warrington Wolves, but before that, it’s Wigan up in a huge derby clash that could be make-or-break for their season.

Speaking on Sky Sports‘ The Verdict, Jon Wilkin, asked about whether head coach Paul Wellens is under pressure, said: “Oh, yeah, the pressure at St. Helens exists 24-7. Like, they need to be winning every game that they play in. And not just that, with a bit of style.

“It’s maybe not something they’ve done this year. Look, they’ve nine of their starting 13 out at the minute. Last week against Castleford – got beat. That’s a shock result.

“Paul Wellens, who’s a good mate of mine: you need to get ahead of that real quick. Because it’s a negativity and vitriol that can breed like wildfires, like rabbits. It just goes nuts. And if you don’t get ahead of it, you can get into bother.”

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Jon Wilkin: the perfect week for St Helens to be playing Wigan

Interestingly, Wilkin went on to explain that he felt this was the perfect week for St Helens to be playing Wigan.

He said: “I believe actually, this week, of all weeks, if you want to be playing anybody as a St. Helens coach, you want to be playing Wigan.

“Because it doesn’t require any motivation, it doesn’t require any of that emotional arousal to get your team into a place to play well.

“It simply comes down to the moments on the field and the rugby and I think that’s a great place to be off the back of a few dodgy results.

“If they don’t win this week, they play Warrington next week who seem to be gathering momentum so it’s not a do or die game but in terms of the confidence of the fans and the confidence of the people around the club, it’s massive.”

It’s a huge clash at the Brick Community Stadium on Friday night at 8pm.

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