CASTLEFORD coach Ian Millward (pictured) was pleased with his patched-up side's performance as they made Wigan battle all the way for a 40-16 victory that put them five points clear at the top of Stobart Super League.
The Warriors looked set to run riot after opening up a 16-0 lead inside 10 minutes but they were pegged back by the gallant Tigers.
Castleford were hit by three late withdrawals, including new half-back pair Rangi Chase and Jamie Ellis, and lost skipper Danny Orr with a "dead leg" before half-time but they overcame their poor start to push Wigan all the way.
"It was a very spirited performance," said coach Millward, who revealed he had asked hooker Ryan Hudson to play despite pulling out with illness 24 hours earlier.
"We were down to the bare bones but, if we keep playing with that attitude, we should enjoy our last three home games.
"I'm really pleased. We didn't have any ball early but when we completed a few sets in a row, I thought we had as much energy as the opposition.
"You don't like losing but I liked the attitude and performance, the guys stood up really well."
Millward expects to have Ellis back for next week's derby with Wakefield but Chase may have played his last game of the season after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained in last week's defeat by Warrington.
"He'll go for a scan tomorrow," Millward said. "He might need a minor operation. I don't think he'll play much over the coming weeks."