Castleford Tigers: We’re only a few small steps from hitting form – Mariano

Frankie Mariano.
Frankie Mariano.
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ONE PER CENT improvements here and there will add up to a return to form for Castleford Tigers, forward Frankie Mariano reckons.

Tigers will aim to end a two-match losing run when struggling Salford Red Devils visit MAH Jungle tomorrow evening.

Successive losses to Wigan Warriors and St Helens have dented Tigers’ hopes of a top-four finish in First Utility Super League.

But Mariano is confident it won’t take much for them to get back to winning ways.

“We have to make sure it is just a blip,” the former Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats man said of the past two weeks’ results.

“We have got to concentrate on getting back to winning ways and it (tomorrow) is an important game.

“We have to make sure we get our game right, which it hasn’t been for the last couple.

“Little bits here and there have gone wrong and the little one percenters have a big bearing on the game.

“As a team we have to concentrate on things we’ve been working on in training and we have to get those little one percenters right.

“As long as everyone knows what they are doing and buys into our system the result will take care of itself, like it has done in previous games.

“Training up to now has been really good, so we are expecting to get it right this weekend.”

Tigers have not won since their Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final victory away to Wigan three weeks ago.

Mariano insisted the prospect of a semi-final – against Widnes Vikings on August 10 – has not played a part in their recent disappointing form.

“All the talk about the Challenge Cup has been from outside, people talking to us,” he said.

“We have got our feet firmly on the ground and we are taking it one game at a time. That’s the best we can do. The Challenge Cup is a long way away and we are not thinking about that. We are just looking at the next game, which is Salford.”

Tigers lost 23-16 at Salford three months ago, but Mariano insisted tomorrow isn’t about gaining revenge.

“If you start focusing too much on things like that, things can go wrong for you – if you start holding grudges and stuff like that,” he warned.

“We are just concentrating on ourselves. It doesn’t matter what they throw at us, we will get it right.”

Tomorrow’s game will see Rangi Chase return to the Jungle for the first time since his move to Salford at the end of last year.

Mariano joined Tigers after Chase left the club, but said he is relishing running into the former Man of Steel.

“It is always good to play against players like him,” he said. “He is one of the best and if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.

“He is a tricky player, but we know he is and as long as we stay as a team, we will be all right.”

Meanwhile, loan signing from Hull Garreth Carvell is set to make his Tigers debut tomorrow. Justin Carney will return after missing the defeat at St Helens due to illness and Adam Milner and Scott Wheeldon are in contention for a recall.

James Clare will make way for Carney and Oliver Holmes is also left out from last weekend’s team.

Marc Sneyd, on a season-long loan from Salford, is included in Tigers’ squad, along with Weller Hauraki, who will join the Red Devils next year.

Disgraced England star Zak Hardaker in action for Castleford Tigers. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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