Daryl Powell is backing his Castleford Tigers team to bounce back from their Challenge Cup disappointment when they head back to the Super League against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley tomorrow night.
While admitting that they face another difficult game against a Rhinos side that has had extra rest and will be pumped up to beat their neighbouring table toppers, Powell is confident of a good display from a Cas team with an impressive recent record against Leeds, winning their last six meetings.
He told the Express: “Some of the boys have got to improve from what they did last weekend and I’m sure they will against Leeds.
“Leeds have had a couple of days extra rest and been able to sit back and analyse us and look to get at us. I thought they played pretty well against us last time out. They will be looking to do that and then go on with it.
“It should be tough, it’s called Super League for a reason. You want it to be difficult and it certainly is for us at the moment. We need to thrive on that and we’re looking forward to going to Headingley. We’ve certainly enjoyed going there in the last few years and we’ll look to do that again.
“I think it’s about how we perform on the day, it doesn’t matter whether they owe us or we owe them.
“Motivation ebbs and flows, but we’ve certainly got a motivation based on what we did last week to get ourselves back on track – and this game gives us a great opportunity.”
Powell was unhappy with aspects of the display against Hull, but wants to move quickly on and reckons the players will be refocused now for the rest of the season.
He said: “It’s about refocusing and the guys being re-energised and recognising as well that when we play against teams now they are going to be highly motivated against us.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re where we need to be. We’ve had a lot of pats on the back and I think it’s time now to push all those to one side and get on with it. We’re going to get challenged, that’s the nature of it, especially when things are going well for you and teams are going to double their efforts to try and beat you.
“We’ve got one thing to look towards now and we need to make sure we’re in the top four at the end of 23 rounds to give us four home games then it’s Super Eights and hopefully that will end in play-off football for us – that’s the focus for us all.”