Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is demanding an improvement in the way his side deals with adversity after back to back defeats have threatened to derail a positive start to the season.
After two wins and a draw to start the 2016 Super League campaign the Tigers have now lost at St Helens and at home to Salford – both when losing key players to injury.
Head coach Powell bemoaned his side’s luck, but is looking for the players to step up to the plate in tomorrow night’s tough trip to play unbeaten Warrington Wolves.
He told the Express: “I think there’s a few things going against us at the moment.
“Whether it’s luck or the bounce of the ball, it went against us at the weekend. That’s the way it goes at times and you hope it will turn round sooner rather than later.
“We’ve just got to dig in and keep working hard, probably work a little bit harder I’d say.
“At the moment we’ve been a little bit unlucky and we haven’t quite been good enough.
“There’s been reasons for that at times, but we need to improve and we need to be better when we’ve got a bit of adversity.”
Powell knows his team will have to improve at Warrington if they are to avoid an unwanted hat-trick of defeats.
He said: “Warrington are unbeaten and have started the season really well so it will be a difficult game for us, it’s always a difficult game going to Warrington.
“We need to be right at our very best and that means a big improvement on what we’ve delivered the last couple of weeks.
“They’re a good all-round team. Russell at full-back is a jack-in-a-box, he’s just constant, bouncing off tackles. They’ve got a good offload game and the half-backs, Gidley and Sandow, are playing really well. They’re kicking well and they’ve got a good control of their game.
“Their back rowers look strong and athletic, Ben Currie in particular is very dangerous. I think Clarky is injured at nine, but they still look strong in there with Dwyer, who’s sharp and always running at the defensive line, challenging you.
“They are an unpredictable team and are very difficult to play against. You can sort of see what their structure is, but they jump outside of that ever so much with offloads and shifting the ball so we need to be exceptional this week across the field.
“If we’re going to win this game we’re going to need all our players to be on the button. I don’t think anything other than our best is going to get the job done.”
Castleford will be without hamstring victim Luke Dorn, who has added to their injury list, which also includes Ben Roberts (foot), Oliver Holmes (knee), Junior Moors (hand) and Michael Shenton (knee). But forwards Grant Millington and Frankie Mariano are fit again.