WANDERERS are willing to change their gameplan at Wigan tonight – if the pitch calls for it.

The surface at the DW Stadium has had some heavy usage in the last week, with the Latics playing against Cheltenham Town on Friday night, followed by Wigan Warriors' World Club Challenge victory against Penrith Panthers 24 hours later.

The ground has always housed professional rugby league and football and issues have been known to arise, particularly in the winter months.

Wet weather is forecast throughout this morning and afternoon – but Ian Evatt says his side have to be prepared for anything as they look for a first victory on Wigan soil since the Premier League days in 2011.

“It is not something we can control. It is not our pitch, not our stadium,” the manager said.

“Whatever it looks like, we have to go there and cope with the conditions.

“We are not going to make excuses - we’ll take them off the table straight away.

“We want a really big performance and if that has to be a combative one, a physical one, one where we play slightly more direct, then we have to be willing to do it.”

Defeat against Blackpool on Saturday proved a missed opportunity for the Whites, with Derby County beaten at Barnsley and Portsmouth dropping two points against Charlton.

Evatt is confident, however, that his players will respond in the right way, with a positive result potentially taking them above Derby into second spot tonight.

“We have shown that we are resilient, and we can be resilient, we wouldn’t be where we are now if we weren’t,” he said.

“But you are going to take a few smacks in this industry, and we took one on Saturday. We have to respond in the right way.

“Largely in my tenure here we have responded, and we have answered the questions, we have another great opportunity to do that at Wigan.”

Wanderers are without top scorer Dion Charles, who had been pencilled in for a return from a knee injury, and goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, who will find out today how long he will be out of action with a wrist injury after the removal of a protective cast.

The club is confident Ricardo Santos will be cleared of the red card he picked up at Blackpool but no confirmation has yet been offered.

Santos had only just returned from a calf injury, and Wanderers had also done without the suspended George Thomason for the previous three games.

Evatt said: “It has been a challenge, it really has, but we are still in there fighting and that is what really matters at the moment. Now is not the time to think about what has been happening, what we have been facing, and I don’t think any other club in the division have faced the same sort of challenges that we have in the last few weeks.

“We still have a brilliant opportunity and it is still in our own hands, which is what we’d want at this stage of the season. And it is for us to go our there and do it.

“We have to embrace it and make sure we get to our levels. I think there are twists and turns to happen yet but I think there will be a big finish.

“We will come back from Saturday, I have confidence in this group of players, I see a steely determination to do better.”