Castleford Tigers: We don’t need all doom and gloom merchants - Millward

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Upbeat coach Ian Millward has hit back at the “doom and gloom” supposedly surrounding Castleford Tigers ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Wigan Warriors.

The past two weeks have seen three high-profile resignations from the club’s backroom team with chief executive Steve Ferres, commercial manager Nick Fozzard and marketing manager Sarah Fozzard all leaving the club.

But Millward insisted none of that upheaval has made any impact on the playing or coaching staff and he said the focus should be directed at what’s happening on the field, not off it.

“Nothing’s happened,” Millward said. “People have decided they want to move on and they’ve moved on.

“My job is to coach rugby league and to make sure my team prepare well and play well.

“I can’t see where the doom and gloom is. The team is doing really well on the field.

“Our squad’s not big enough and we don’t spend as much as other clubs, but all people are saying to me at the moment is how they can’t get over how hard the players are trying and how good it is to support a Cas team of 17 players who are putting in the stuff week-in and week-out.

“The players haven’t looked out of place against Leeds and Catalan or Warrington and Bradford. is there a campaign here to de-stabilise this club?

“I wish people would get back on to the positives of what we are trying to do.

“We are trying to get some young kids through and put some experienced players with them.

“I think some people are very poorly informed and people are being very mischievous.”

Another strong performance and a win against Wigan tomorrow would raise spirits even further.

“We are undefeated at home and we’d like to protect that,” Millward said.

“We’ve played 320 minutes so far this season and I reckon we’ve only had 30 bad minutes, which was the first 20 against Warrington in round one and the final 10 against Bradford in round three, when we were down to 11 men.

“After that 20 minutes against Warrington we out-scored them, we beat Leeds, we were toe to toe with Bradford and we had the draw against Catalan.

“At the start of the year everyone saw our draw and thought we wouldn’t win a game in the first eight. But we just spoke about effort and I think our effort has been outstanding.”

Castleford Tigers: from Tansey, Carney, Shenton, Webster, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Emmitt, Clark, Mason, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington, Huby, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Milner Owen.

Wigan Warriors: from S Tomkins, Charnley, Hughes, Thornley, Richards, Green, Smith, Dudson, McIllorum, Flower, Tuson, Farrell, O’Loughlin, Crosby, L Tomkins, Burke, Powell, Lloyd, Taylor.

Referee: Thierry Alibert

Kick-off: March 3, 3.30pm.

Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes in off-season action against Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Tony Johnson

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