CASTLEFORD TIGERS’ season begins next week according to middle man Daniel Smith.
The Tigers are without a game this weekend, but return to Betfred Super League action at home to Huddersfield Giants on Friday, June 7.
That is shaping up to be a huge clash for both sides with improving Huddersfield having climbed to eighth in the table, three places and just two points behind Castleford.
Depending on other results, a big Giants win could see the teams swap places and 2019 recruit Smith knows Castleford need to snap out of their recent poor run.
“This is the start of the season,” said prop forward Smith. “We need these wins.
“Teams around us are picking up points, but we are positive and we’re in a good position really.
“It’s not like we are in a bad position, we are still in fifth so we’ll get a few players back, keep working hard in training and I’m sure we will get in that top five.”
Smith’s joined his home town club from Huddersfield at the start of last month following a spell on loan with Featherstone Rovers.
He said: “I am enjoying it. To play at Castleford is a dream of mine and I just need to keep trying to play here and do my best.
“Obviously results haven’t been good, but I will stay positive and hopefully things will work out.”
Smith endured a tough start to the season, being out of favour at Huddersfield and having to play in the Betfred Championship to keep match fit.
He knows he can improve, but reflecting on his form so far for Tigers he said: “It’s not too bad at the minute.
“Obviously it is hard; basically I was not really wanted at Huddersfield, but I have come to Castleford now, it is something I have always wanted to do and I will just kick on from here.”
Smith, 26, was brought in to bolster a Tigers pack which has been ravaged by injuries all year.
Unbeaten in their first four fixtures, Castleford have lost eight of their last 11, two of those to runaway league leaders St Helens.
Saints proved too good at the Magic Weekend in Liverpool three days ago, winning 36-16 and Smith admitted Tigers did not do themselves justice.
He commented: “It was very disappointing.
“There were a few sloppy tries we conceded and obviously you can’t do that against a top team like St Helens.
“They aren’t sat at the top of the league for a laugh so you can’t afford to be turning up like that.”
Tigers trailed by 30 points with 13 minutes remaining and looked to be heading for a hiding, but two late tries made the scoreline respectable and gave them something to build on ahead of the Huddersfield game.
“We spoke about that afterwards,” Smith added. “I thought we had a dig in the end, but it was the sloppy tries that cost us.
“I thought we were on top in the first 20 minutes and then a few decisions went against us and ultimately it cost us.
“It’s stuff we can fix up – concentration and a few errors.
“We’ll do that this week and get ready for Huddersfield.”