THEY ARE out of the Coral Challenge Cup and have dropped to seventh in Betfred Super League, but boss Daryl Powell reckons Castleford Tigers still have lots to play for this year.
Tigers will be aiming to end a run of four successive defeats when they visit struggling Leeds Rhinos on Thursday and Powell accepts they have to quickly put recent disappointments behind them.
“Personally, that performance hurt quite a lot,” Powell said of Tigers’ 28-12 Cup loss at Hull last Friday.
“I’d like to think it did with the players as well. We have to strike back and we’ve got Super League to go for.
“We recognise we are not at our best at the moment and it was disappointing to lose that game, but we’ve got Super League in front of us now and we’ve got to focus on that.
“That’s the way it is, we just need to move on.”
Powell believes a title challenge is still possible. He admitted: “At this moment in time you’d say we would be long odds, but things change.
“Look at our fixture list and what we’ve got coming up and we are very much capable of mounting a challenge as we move through the rest of the season.
“We’d want a bit better luck with injuries and if we get that we can challenge anybody.
“It requires us to be at our best and I don’t think we’ve been there at any point this season, yet.
“It will need a turn around, but I think we are capable of doing that.”
Powell is looking for improvements across the board in this week’s game.
“I thought before last week we’ve been okay,” he reflected.
“Even though we obviously haven’t won the games we wanted to we’ve been pretty stripped with injuries and we’ve been hanging in and losing tight games.
“Last week was a bit different, I didn’t enjoy the game at all and we need to learn some pretty harsh lessons from that and then move on and be much better in all areas.
“Sport has a way of reminding you that hard work is probably the most important area of everything and I’d like to see us put that right this week.”