AFTER back-to-back losses against Salford and Castleford, Saints travel to local rivals and reigning champions Wigan on Friday night looking for a performance to get their season back on track.

Challenges do not come any tougher, particularly for a side denuded of eight or nine frontline players, but following last Friday’s diabolical home defeat Saints have to post a response.

Such was the manner of their loss, Saints are expected to make changes – and there is the option of shaking up the spine by bringing in teenager Harry Robertson who has been impressing at every level of rugby he has played below the senior ranks.

That would be a very bold move for a confident young player who can operate at 1 or 6 - and if he did play, would follow in the footsteps of Regan Grace in making a senior Saints debut at Wigan.

 Even Wigan coach Matty Peet expects Saints to make some changes to the 1,6,7, 9 and he said: "Saints are not far off and it won't take a great deal to get them back to winning form.

"I think they might tweak their spine a little bit - and I think they may try and move Jack Welsby."

Team changes in the halves is something former skipper Paul Sculthorpe has called for in his St Helens Star column this week.

He wrote: "I’m afraid there has to be changes at half back. Lewis Dodd just isn’t doing it.

"It’s too an important position, that impacts too many of the players around him.

"The lack of direct attacking threat, and overall involvement cannot be carried at Betfred Super League level."

It leaves coach Paul Wellens with a big call to make – whether to drop Dodd, move Jonny Lomax to scrum half and juggle his 1 and 6.

He would have other options in the halves should Moses Mbye win his appeal to the Operational Rules Tribunal tonight.

Wellens said: “Off the back of two poor performances I have got to look at our options and how we can get better moving forward and all options are on the table.”

For obvious reason he did not elaborate - and will want to keep Wigan guessing until roughly 7pm on Friday.

As for the game itself, Wellens said: "I am really looking forward to it.

“We were disappointed with last week’s performance and result, but we have got an opportunity to come to a place where we enjoy playing against a really tough team and a team that is in form and winning.

“It is a real challenge for us and a great opportunity for us to come here and play well."

So far this year it is one-nil to Saints in the derby trilogy after Good Friday victory, but this week will be a massive challenge given the formbook and the scale of Saints’ injuries.

“There is a huge mutual respect between the sides but the games are always played with a really high intensity," Wellens said.

“And it is a spectacle that everyone wants to watch.

“Whenever we play Wigan we look at the game two weeks previously or lost, that goes out of the Window because we are playing Wigan in a derby.

“We will prepare the best we can, knowing that we are coming up against a really experienced opposition who, like us, know how to play well in the big game.

“The challenge you face when you come up against good teams you can watch endless amounts of video.

“Trying to find weaknesses in a strong team is not always easy – you have to focus on yourselves whilst understanding they are a good team for a reason and there are some individual threats within their ranks who pose a danger as well.

“We try to cover as many bases as possible, but the important thing is getting us right first.”