Wigan Warriors' rugby director Kris Radlinski has attempted to appease disgruntled supporters by explaining that a virus in camp played a huge part in their 62-0 mauling at the hands of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday.
The Warriors suffered their biggest Super League defeat in 11 years at Belle Vue as an excellent Wakefield ran in 11 tries during an 80-minute battering.
Wigan were heavily depleted through injury and illness with club legend Radlinski stating that just nine of 34 players attended training on Thursday, prompting the session to be cancelled.
Radlinski stressed how well Wakefield played, but was keen to point out to the club's fans how badly Wigan's preparations were disrupted.
"I believe we have a responsibility to explain to our fans the situation we're in at the moment and I don't want to be seen as a club that makes excuses but there are certain factors we have to explain to make people aware of," he told the club's official website.
"I need to get out there that Wakefield were very, very good yesterday. They would have been hard to beat with a full and healthy team.
"Injuries are part of Super League, every team is struggling with them, every club's medical teams are working hours and hours to get people on the field.
"We've had a viral infection running through the team this week and it's been pretty intense. On Thursday only nine out of 34 players turned up to training. We couldn't do anything so we had to send them home and we had to have a special clinic here with the doctors.
He added: "Again we had to cancel Friday, on Saturday the players came in went on the field for 15 minutes. But we had to pick a team and put a team out against Wakefield.
"We probably underestimated just how much the illness took out of the players. You could see in the warm-up they were lethargic, their body language was down and there was no energy.
"It's a hard one for us because the history books will show 62-0. That hurts, it hurts me, it hurts Wigan fans and so it should. I believe we have a responsibility to let people know that what happened behind the scenes is unprecedented."
Radlinski also explained that Wigan, who had three teenagers in their starting line-up, had to ask for special dispensation from the RFL to meet salary cap regulations such was the extent of their depleted squad.