HE ACCEPTS a top-eight finish seems out of reach, but Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is still aiming high.
Tigers began round 23 – out of 27 – in 12th spot in Super League, a massive six points outside the play-offs zone.
But Powell, whose team are at home to third-placed Warrington Wolves tomorrow, insists there is no end of season feel around the Tigers camp as they aim to build some momentum ahead of what will be a crucial 2014 campaign.
“It is certainly a tough challenge to get into the top-eight now,” Powell admitted.
“But we are playing to win every game. We will take each one as it comes and we are looking to finish as high up the table as we can.
“That has got to be the focus for us. We have got to be consistent during games and from game to game.
“Players are looking to get consistency in their game and hopefully we can use that to finish as high as possible.
“Our results will dictate that, but we have to get our performances right. Until we do that there’s no point looking past the next game – and we’ve got a tough one this weekend.”
Warrington were involved in a sapping Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull six days ago and the surprise defeat means all their eggs are in one basket.
“They will be pretty keen to play well,” Powell predicted. “They will be focused on the league now the Challenge Cup has gone.
“I am not reading too much into what happened last week, they are one of the best sides in the competition and they’ll be focused on coming at us.
“It is a tough challenge, but if we play as well as we can, we can compete with the top sides in the competition.”
Powell stressed: “It is about us getting our game right. Defensively we have got to be outstanding and they are very good defensively, so we will need to play well to challenge them.”
Tigers have struggled to put an 80 minute performance together this season.
They were outstanding in the first half against St Helens three weeks ago, but slumped after half-time – and it was the opposite last time out away to Huddersfield Giants.
“We need consistency across the full 80 minutes, that is something we’ve really got to focus on,” Powell added.
Tigers will be without prop Jon Walker (knee) and back-rower Oliver Holmes (ankle), who were both hurt at Huddersfield.
Ben Davies, who came off the bench in that game, has since left the club.
Cas are being linked with their former player Luke Dorn, who is set to leave London Broncos at the end of the season.
Team news in here and then teams
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.