Smiles will be back if Castleford Tigers beat Warrington Wolves in Challenge Cup semi-final says boss Daryl Powell
Castleford Tigers' coach Daryl Powell has called for cool heads leading into the club’s biggest game in four years.
Tigers are preparing for Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves, at Leigh, on the back of three successive defeats - including a 60-6 home drubbing by Leeds Rhinos eight days earlier.
A campaign which began with huge promise - and four successive wins - is in danger of going off the rails.
Tigers are now three wins behind Super League’s leading trio, having picked up just one victory from their last five games in the competition and their best chance of silverware appears to rest on them reaching Wembley.
Powell - who will join Warrington as their new head coach at the end of this season - admits Tigers will be underdogs against an on-form Wolves team who beat Salford Red Devils 62-18 last week, but insists his current side are capable of turning things around, if their attitude is right.
“We can jump up and down and pull that game piece by piece and examine every part of it, but for me it has to be a little bit different from that,” he said of how Castleford must react after last weekend’s thrashing.
“The players have to get their heads in the right place.
“We have got three training sessions this week and they need to work hard and get their heads in the right place and be able to trust each other that we can do the job.”
Tigers have a win against Warrington under their belts, having beaten this week’s rivals 21-12 in Betfred Super League round one, though Wolves reversed that with a 38-14 success two weeks before the semi-final and have lost just once since their setback in the opening game.
A spate of injuries to pivotal players have knocked Tigers off track and Powell said: “Round one showed we are capable of beating Warrington.
“We started the season really well and we’ve gradually lost player after player, which has made it harder for us.
“I am not excusing anything, but if you look at our teamsheet for the last two weeks you’ll see we’ve lost a lot of players.
“That is actual fact.
“I know people are getting hot under the collar and they are frustrated and disappointed, but they can’t be any more frustrated than me - they can’t be.
“I understand everybody being disappointed, it is massively disappointing that as fans have come back in we haven’t performed.
“That’s not something we’d want, but it has happened.
“We need to put all that behind us.
“If we win [on Saturday], everyone’s smiling again and that’s that I am focussing on.”
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