Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is demanding more consistency from his players after experiencing the highs and lows of the last two weeks in the Betfred Super League.
The Tigers went from a 28-point victory over Leeds to a 22-point defeat by St Helens in the last two weeks, leading Powell to admit he is becoming frustrated ahead of the rearranged game away to Hull KR tomorrow night.
He said: “We are missing a few players, but there’s some teams missing a lot more than us who are more consistent than us in terms of attitude and effort.
“I am a little bit frustrated with the way we’re playing. Our inconsistency is not good enough at the moment.
“I’m asking for a consistent attitude and effort from the team and hopefully that’s going to start to happen.
“If players aren’t playing well there needs to be an ability to leave players out. That’s the nature of a team sport; players need to play well to make sure they keep their place in the team and the team’s functioning the way that it should.”
Powell reckons this is the time of the season for his team to dig in if they are to be competing at the highest level come the end of the year.
He explained: “We know what we’re capable of playing-wise. The difficulty is when you know you’re capable of a certain standard and you’re not at it. Confidence can take a bit of a whack.
“We conceded 40 points at home so that’s never a good thing to happen you. We have to grow our confidence in our defence first and foremost and then we’ve got to build on the back of that.
“It’s an important game for us against Hull KR now. This is our game in hand so we want to be winning and continue to get better as we move towards the important part of the season.
“This time of year is a time for digging in. A lot of teams have quite a few injuries at the moment. The teams in the top three have had minimal really when you look at Warrington, Wigan and St Helens. You just have to work your way through it.
“At the moment we’re just trying to realign our standards with what we think we’re capable of and we haven’t quite done that yet so hopefully this week we’ll start seeing some improvements.”
Castleford could be boosted by the return from injury of last year’s top try scorer, Greg Eden, while Joe Wardle is also expected to be available again after missing the Saints game. But they look like being without centre Jake Webster, prop Junior Moors and half-back Ben Roberts as well as long term injury victims Luke Gale and James Clare.
On Eden’s return, Powell said: “We have been extremely cautious over him. He has had a couple of weeks of real serious work in terms of getting himself ready to go.
“He is a fast athlete so he is more prone to hamstrings than other players, but I am confident he will be ready this time.”