Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is demanding his players show a greater mental toughness as they head to France on the back of throwing away two points in the opening Super League game of the season.
Powell was unhappy with the manner of the way his side let a 16-point lead slip to lose 24-22 to Wakefield Wildcats and wants a reaction when the Tigers take on Catalans Dragons on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
He told the Express: “It’s always tough in France and we’ve got to go there with a little bit more resilience about us when we get under pressure.
“Certainly we’ve got to play well from minute one to minute 80 to get a result there.
“Our mentality needs to stiffen up and we’ve spoken about that a fair bit this week.
“We need to go over there with a tough mindset about us.
“We need a reaction. It’s not doom and gloom – we did a lot of good things against Wakefield – but when we got put under pressure at the end our mentality wasn’t quite where it needed to be so we’ve got to take a step in the right direction from that perspective.”
Castleford will be looking to make it a happier trip than at the end of last season when defeat away to Catalans cost them the League Leaders’ Shield, but Powell said it was not about revenge.
He said: “It’s about us and getting an 80-minute performance.
“We can’t worry about things that are external at the moment, it’s just look after our own game with individual and collective performances that are important to us.
“We had an excellent crowd for the first game, it was a good atmosphere and I thought it was fantastic. We always get great support, but didn’t really justify it at the end so we’ve got a job to do to pay them back for a poor last 10 minutes that really hurt us.”
Powell is happy to be playing at the Stade Gilbert Brutus at this time of year instead of later in the year when the heat can be a big factor.
He added: “It will be a bit cooler at this time of year. You don’t want to be going over when it’s red hot, they love it and English teams don’t so much like it when the heat can be pretty excessive.
“It’s certainly a benefit, but I don’t think it’s a massive one because they are used to playing in cooler weather as well.
“But we’d rather play there in English type conditions rather than South of France conditions so hopefully we’ll get the performance and result. That’s all I’m interested in at the moment.”