Castleford Tigers: London is our only focus says Tiger Kirk
Tigers are at home to London Broncos on Sunday, a week before their Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes Vikings, at Leigh.
And after a poor performance in last Thursday’s 18-18 draw at Hull, Dixon insisted they need to put the knockout competition to one side.
“Everyone’s been asking us about the semi-final, but internally we haven’t really thought about it, Dixon said.
“We have found ourselves in a decent position in the league and we want to consolidate that position and maybe get a little bit higher in the table.
“Maybe we were a bit guilty last week of having one eye on the semi-final, because that performance wasn’t Cas of 2014 – it was Cas of old.
“We need to get back to how we’ve been playing earlier this season.”
London are already doomned to relegation from First Utility Super League and have lost their 22 league matches so far, including a 54-6 drubbing by Castleford at The Hive in March.
But Dixon said: “They are a Super League team, with some fantastic players. If we turn over the amount of ball we did last week and put in a similar performance, we will be on the wrong end of the scoreline.
“That is exactly what we don’t want to do. We want to concentrate on this week’s game, make sure we right some wrongs and hopefully we can go into the next game with confidence.”
With a top-four finish in Super League well within their grasp, Dixon said that is another reason for needing to produce an improved performance on Sunday.
“We don’t want to let that slip,” he stressed. “We have worked too hard this season to start letting that go. We thought we righted some wrongs against Leeds the other week.
“That was a great performance from us, going to Headingley and getting a point there – and we could have got the win.
“We thought we had turned the corner from the little bit of a slump we’d been in, but we seemed to go backwards a little bit last week. We didn’t turn up with the right attitude and you can’t do that in this competition. We weren’t happy about it.”
Dixon described the performance against his home city club as “ not good enough”. He said: “We have built our season on working hard for each other and everyone doing the right thing.
“Too many of us made errors we should not be making and I am as guilty of that as the next man.
“The ball was greasy, but that’s what we are paid to do –hold the ball.
“We just coughed the ball up too much.
Give any team that amount of ball and they will punish you and I thought that was what Hull did.
“But we can take a bit from it. We dug deep and played for the full 80 minutes and we came out with a point, so there were some positives.”
Last week’s draw – Tigers’ second in succession following the 24-24 stalemate at Leeds – illustrated what a tough side Castleford are to beat.
Dixon said: “We have got great character and a great team and team spirit.
“We showed a bit of resolve at the end last week and we kept going for the full 80.
“That’s what you have to do in Super League.
“You can’t just rest on your laurels or throw the towel in. We need to play for the full 80, that’s what we did and we managed to salvage a point.”
Meanwhile, Tigers forward Weller Hauraki will miss Sunday’s visit of London and the following week’s Cup semi-final after pleading guilty to the Grade C offence of recklessly striking with his knees in the 78th minute of the draw at Hull.
The RFL disciplinary committee banned former Leeds forward Hauraki for two matches and he was fined £300.