Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell believes that despite his side’s heavy defeat at Warrington last week there is no reason for them to lack confidence that they can beat Leeds Rhinos in tomorrow night’s derby game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers beat the Super League champions twice at their Headingley ground last year so can take belief from those games as they look to end their run of three straight defeats, but their performances in the big matches in the last two years can also stand them in good stead.
“We’ve beaten everybody and we’re a good side,” said Powell,
“We should be going into games with confidence knowing that we’re going to deliver.
“That’s something I’ve challenged the players that when you go out onto the field you need to know that there’s certain things that are non negotiables and you’ve got to turn up with.
“I’m hoping we go out and we know what we’re going to be delivering for each other.
“I’m confident in that watching the players train.”
Castleford are having to do it tough with seven members of their first team squad unavailable for the Rhinos clash, but Powell acknowledged that other clubs were going through the same problems.
He said: “Leeds have had a real tough period at the start, Huddersfield are still going through theirs and a couple of teams have stayed injury free and gone really well.
“We’ve had a bit of that in the past, a couple of years ago when we were outstanding at the start and we didn’t have any injuries. It helps massively.
“But no excuses from us, we’ll just crack on and get on with the job. We’ve got a good side out there and the boys need to go out and pull a really tidy game together that can challenge Leeds.
“Obviously we’ve got to defend a fair bit better and we’ll look to do that on Thursday.”
Asked whether it was a bad time to be playing Leeds now they have players coming back and appear to have turned a corner after their poor start to the season, Powell was not sure.
He added: “You’ve got to play everybody twice and one team three times so it doesn’t really matter when you meet them.
“We’ve just got to perform well.
“You get good times and bad times and different bits and pieces as you get through the season. You get good times to play teams when they’ve got injuries and the other way round, but I don’t worry about that too much. It’s about a group of players getting out there and playing well for Castleford Tigers.
“We’ve got a lot to do after last week to get some pride back into the way we play the game so I expect to see a side that’s highly motivated and ready to go.”