FORWARD MATT Cook says the anger and frustration shown by Daryl Powell with his Castleford Tigers team is justified.
Speaking after last week’s 40-18 Betfred Super League loss to St Helens, coach Powell said too many of his players “don’t really care about defence”.
Powell also claimed the 2017 league leaders have let their standards slip and Cook reckons the team boss has a point.
Describing last week as a “very poor performance”, Cook admitted Tigers “really let ourselves down”.
He said: “There is some good effort there at times, but like the boss has said, we’re not being durable enough for the full 80 minutes.
“We’re not playing for the full 80 minutes and that’s where it’s really hurting us at the moment.”
Powell has called for Tigers to work harder and be tougher throughout games and Cook said when players’ effort is being questioned the answer is to bounce back and show what they are really all about.
“That’s what gets the boss really frustrated,” he added.
“He will admit himself he can probably cop a loss if the attitude is there and we’ve worked hard, but if he’s questioning our attitude that’s when he’s rightly not happy – and we’re not either.”
The loss to St Helens cost Tigers an opportunity to go fourth in the table.
According to Cook, the priority now is to “pull together as a team”.
He added: “We need to work hard at training and try and correct each other’s faults and only hard work and soul-searching will help turn it around.
“We’ve got Hull KR away on Friday and that is a really big, important game. We need to get back to winning ways and chalking up some wins if we want to be in the top four come the end of the season.”
The rearranged trip to KCOM Craven Park will pit Tigers against opponents full of confidence after beating Wigan Warriors 24-8 last Friday.
“It will be a hostile environment,” predicted Cook, who is a former Hull KR player.
“We’ll have to work very hard and be at our best.
“We’ve seen what they did to Wigan and they are a group of lads who work hard for each other. There’s some familiar faces there with Lee Jewitt and Danny Tickle and a few still there from when I was there, like Liam Salter.
“They are a dangerous team on their day as Wigan Warriors found out and they’re fighting to make sure they stay in Super League.
“It’s always a hard place to go to and we have to roll our sleeves up and make sure we’re on it.”