They may be out of the Challenge Cup and currently out of the play-off places in Super League, but head coach Daryl Powell has not written off Castleford Tigers' season just yet.
Powell believes the Tigers can turn round their fortunes with better luck with injuries in the second half of the campaign and reckons they have not suddenly become a bad team.
The Tigers have lost their last four matches and seven of their last nine, but are motivated to improve in the remainder of the 2019 season.
Powell insisted: “At this moment in time you’d say we would be long odds (to win the Super League title), but things change.
“Look at our fixture list and what we’ve got coming up and we are very much capable of mounting a challenge as we move through the rest of the season.
“We’d want a bit better luck with injuries and if we get that we can challenge anybody.
“It requires us to be at our best and I don’t think we’ve been there at any point this season, yet.
“It will need a turn around, but I think we are capable of doing that.”
Powell is looking for the turn round to begin at Emerald Headingley tomorrow night when the Tigers take on Leeds Rhinos.
He said: “We want to win every game.
“I probably get hurt as much as anybody when we lose a game. I know the fans do as well and this is a big game for them.
“They won’t be particularly happy with our form at the moment, but I’d ask them to look at what’s happened to us and have a bit of patience.
“We are working hard to try and turn it around and finish with a really good season.
“Look back at a couple of times where our opponents on Thursday have won the competition on the back of not the best league form. It is do-able, we just need to be positive at get after it.”
The Challenge Cup defeat and performance at Hull is still hurting, but Powell intends to use it as motivation to get the league campaign back on track.
He added: “Personally, that performance hurt quite a lot. I’d like to think it did with the players as well, we have to strike back and we’ve got Super League to go for.
“We recognise we are not at our best at the moment and it was disappointing to lose that game, but we’ve got Super League in front of us now and we’ve got to focus on that.
“That’s the way it is, we just need to move on.
“Clearly it’s a competition we hold in high regard. Historically it’s massive for Castleford so we are bitterly disappointed.
“I thought we needed to be better in everything.
“Our attitude needed to be better, I thought we got out-worked by Hull and some of the things we did really hurt us - kicking out on the full from the kick-off twice is not ideal, especially when the opposition score two tries from that.
“You’ve got the game right there in a nutshell. We hurt ourselves with individual errors and on the back of that I thought defensively we were pretty soft at times and we conceded some tries we were really disappointed with.
“There was a 10-minute period when we gave the game away and that makes it more disappointing when you are handing easy opportunities to the opposition.”