Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is looking for a change in mentality from his players this week after accusing them of being beaten for attitude at Salford last Sunday.
After their flying start to the season the Tigers were brought back down to earth with a 13-12 defeat at the AJ Bell Stadium and need to get their game quickly back on track at home to Catalans Dragons on Sunday if they are to stay in the top two.
Powell felt that despite the close score at Salford his side were “poor” and he wants an immediate response.
He told the Express: “I’ve constantly spoken about mentality and maintaining focus and we got beaten a little for attitude this week.
“I thought our defence was poor. Obviously we didn’t concede a lot of points and we defended our try line well most of the time. But I thought in general defensively they had more zip about them and better line speed. We got beat for attitude and that’s what’s most disappointing about it all.
“You are going to lose games over a season, but that was one I don’t think we should have. There’s some clear lessons in tight games for us to learn.
“We stopped playing, we went one-out and we really restricted our ability to put any pressure on Salford because of what we did.
“I’m confident the boys will learn and it won’t happen to us again.”
Powell continued: “They were tough conditions and I just thought they were more recognisable than we were. We were a shadow of our former selves and obviously we want to recapture our mojo this week.
“It’s crucial we bounce back straight away. We are back at home now and we need to have a really big effort to get back to our standards and get the two points.
“It will be a tough challenge, they are a physical group of blokes are Catalans and we are going to have to play well to beat them.”
Castleford will take on Catalans without Super League’s current top scorer with Greg Minikin ruled out after injuring his shoulder, but the Tigers head coach is hopeful he will have Jake Webster and Matt Cook available after they suffered head injuries and he revealed that Rangi Chase could return to action along with Joel Monaghan.
Powell added: “Greg Minikin injured his shoulder when he scored, but it doesn’t look as bad as we thought it might be. He’s been to see a specialist on Tuesday and he’ll miss this week’s game, but we will then see how he goes after that. Hopefully it won’t be too long.
“It’s a blow for him after the way he’s started the season, but we’ve got Joel Monaghan to come in and it’s a good opportunity for him to get into the team and try to cement a place.
“He’s had one game under his belt now so it’s a good chance for him.
“Jake Webster is going through the normal protocol after a head knock. He clashed heads and had to come off, but he should be okay, fingers crossed.
“Matt Cook should be available. He’s got a couple of stitches as he got his head in the wrong place, which is not a good thing to do.
“I’ll have a look at selection options and see what I’m going to do this week. There’s quite a few players who I don’t think would be able to have too much of an argument if they were left out, but the majority will get the benefit of the doubt.
“Rangi Chase could be in contention. I’ll have a look as we go through the week, but there’s a chance he’ll be back in the selection process.
“We’ve got a few different options, but we just need to get our players back playing well and they have the knowledge that if they don’t play well they can miss out the week after. It’s usually quite a strong motivation for players.”