WIDNES Vikings travel to champions Wigan on Sunday looking to build on last week’s win against Leigh.

Although a place in the top eight is now unlikely, if not yet mathematically impossible, Vikings still need points to secure as high a place finish and benefit from more home fixtures in the Qualifiers.

Although Wigan have gone through a rough patch in the league, with a long run without a win, they have slowly been getting key players back from injury.

And there is a sense of desperation too, with the champions not yet secure in the top eight themselves.

Coach Denis Betts said: “Wigan are desperate to get moving and they have the squad depth and ability to start winning again.

“They had adversity last year but when they got players back they went on to win the Grand Final.

“They are at home and want to get a win and the whole place wants a win, but we have to go there with the attitude that we need a win as well.”

Vikings have tasted success at the DW Stadium in the recent past and only narrowly lost the reverse fixture, which was controversially switched, earlier this season.

Betts said the mood was upbeat going into this encounter, with the players champing at the bit after the good win over Leigh.

“We enjoy going to Wigan,” Betts said.

“It is a great stadium and fantastic atmosphere and we are playing the best team in the competition for the last four years.

“That is always a big challenge and that is what drives you on.”

Vikings came through the Leigh game unscathed but faced losing half back Rangi Chase, who was cited by the match review panel for a Grade B offence.

They will still be without full back Rhys Hanbury for a further three to four weeks with a knee ligament strain.

And Chris Dean is still sidelined with a torn lat (back/shoulder muscle) - an injury specialists normally see in water skiers.

However, they have a host of other players battling to regain their spots.

“All the players came through Leigh fit and all are champing at the bit to get back out there.

“Joe Mellor had his first game back and looked a bit rusty and did some good things; defensively he was solid, even if attack wise he was off a bit ,but that will come with training and playing.

“On top of that Tom Gilmore is keen to get back into the mix, Greg Burke is fighting day-and-day out to get back in contention and Manase Manuokafoa is back from attending his father’s funeral and is ready to go again.

“So we have a nice contingent of healthy bodies, with Jordan Johnstone and Jay Chapelhow itching to get back in the team - it is a nice place to be,” Betts said.

In Hanbury’s absence Danny Craven has been operating at full back - a role Betts thinks is suited to his game.

Betts said: “Danny is a good player. It was nice for him to get back in the flow of things the week before. His natural position is a full back even though he has played half and nine.

“You like him at full back because he is brave and will die trying defensively.

“He has a great left foot which gives you that attacking option.”

Sunday’s game at the DW Stadium kicks off at 3pm.