O'Loughlin targeting the top
Skipper setting his sights on Leeds and St Helens in 2009
Last Updated: 08/02/09 9:15am
O'Loughlin: Back in business
Sean O'Loughlin is determined to see Wigan push even harder for the Super League Grand Final this year.
"We just want to finish higher in the play-offs and, if we do that, the way we've played in the play-offs in the last couple of years, we will give ourselves a chance."
Sean O'Loughlin Quotes of the week
The Warriors have moved to the brink of the season-ending showpiece in both their last two campaigns.
But with their returning captain now fit after shoulder surgery, which saw him spend nine months on the sidelines and miss the World Cup, hopes are high for 2009.
Influential stand-off Trent Barrett has gone, but new Australian arrivals Mark Riddell and Amos Roberts have boosted the squad and O'Loughlin is feeling confident ahead of the new campaign.
"We're not going to blow our own trumpet too much, we'll just get on with our job and try to pick up wins early on in the season and get some good form," said O'Loughlin.
"We just want to finish higher in the play-offs and, if we do that, the way we've played in the play-offs in the last couple of years, we will give ourselves a chance.
"Trent is a great player and he took on a lot of responsibilities on and off the field. It's always great as captain to have someone like that.
"He's left a hole but Mark Riddell is a great organiser and will take some of that responsibility off the halves.
"We've also got Tommy Leuluai and Tim Smith bearing up now. They didn't get much game time together last year and I think when they gel they will be a real force too."
Wigan get their Super League XIV campaign under way against the Wakefield Wildcats at the JJB Stadium on Sunday.
But, despite the injury crisis that is hitting the Wildcats, O'Loughlin insists his side can take nothing for granted.
"I don't know their injury list but I do know the team they will field tomorrow will be strong," he added.