Castleford Tigers boss: We need to keep pulling together

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has called for everyone to stick together as the team tries to fight its way out of a slump that has seen them lose six of their last eight Betfred Super League games.

Powell admitted his team had not been good enough in recent weeks and was in urgent need of some victories, starting this Sunday against London.

But he has been sending out a positive message to his players that if they work hard they will get the results.

He told the Express: “We’re on a tough run and we need to win some games. This week’s a pretty crucial one for us.

“The key thing is to keep people looking in the right direction and being positive and we’ve got to turn it around quickly.

“We’re working hard and we look really good in practice, but when we get put under a fair bit of pressure we just don’t handle it well at the moment.

“We are in games that are really tight and we are just not quite good enough.

“You look at the Hull game and that hinges on one ball goes to the floor and they pick it up and run the full length, that swings the game away from us.

“If we get one try late on at Salford we felt confident we could go on – they didn’t have any subs left. We get a drop-out and they get the ball back after kicking it out.

“We’re just having things go against us – some of it because we’re not working hard enough, some of it because there’s a touch of luck going against us or the opposition’s got a player playing really well and they are undoing us a bit. It’s frustrating at the moment.

“I keep saying it – we’re going through a tough spell and we just need to keep pulling together.

“Everybody’s got to try and be the difference and we’ve just got to try to be consistent with what we’re delivering.”

Powell is looking for some of his out of form players to find a way to get back to their best in the next few weeks.

He said: “We’ve got some players who are just not on form, they’ve just got to work hard to play themselves back into form.

“I was looking at Adam Milner last week, I think he played himself back into form. I think Cheyse Blair did, he was really good.

“Jesse Sene-Lefao was really good and our left edge was strong. Peter Mata’utia at the back was excellent.

“We’ve just got to keep striving for individual excellence, which will combine and make the team function better.”

Castleford are back at home this Sunday, but face in-form London Broncos who have won their last three games and have impressed Powell.

He added: “I think London have been good all year.

“They’ve been competitive all the way through the season and we wouldn’t have been taking them lightly even if they had not had their recent wins.

“We certainly won’t be taking them lightly because they are one of the form teams to be honest. They’ve won four out of their last five and won their last three so they are playing well.

“We played really well down there when we beat them.

“They really challenge you, they move the ball well.

“(Jordan) Abdull’s playing great at the moment and they are playing with confidence. They are working exceptionally hard for each other and that’s been a great template for them across the season.

“I saw them lose against St Helens earlier in the year and they were really competitive, they made it hard for St Helens. Even though they lost 20-0 they hung about and they are a really tough team.

“It will be a tough game anyway, but how tough depends on us. We’ve just got to be durable and play well.

“We’ve got to play consistently well for 80 minutes, which is something we haven’t done for a while.”