Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell reckons his players owe the fans a much improved performance against Salford Red Devils tonight after their poor display at Huddersfield last week.
Powell was hugely frustrated with the way Cas went from their best display of the season against Wigan to their worst when they failed to score a single point in an error-strewn performance at Huddersfield.
The head coach is now expecting a reaction from the players when they return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in the first of three successive home games.
He told the Express: “We never really got our game together at Huddersfield, which was obviously disappointing.
“Obviously not to score a point and to look as disjointed as we did and make as many errors as we did is something we need to put behind us as quickly as possible.
“We get an opportunity to put it right this week and it will be another tough game for which we need to improve significantly.
“The most difficult thing to take was it coming after the week before against Wigan. You feel like you’ve got your game together and you’ve got players playing well and the team functioning efficiently and then you come up with something that was almost entirely the opposite.
“You never really know why these things happen. We’ve talked about a lot of things, about whether we got our training week right or whether players’ individual and collective preparation was right.
“But ultimately it’s about making sure we get everything right this week, learn some lessons and make sure we function as a team. Obviously we need a big improvement from what we served up.
“Salford have got results in their last three games and you would expect it to be a tough game. They are pretty physical, they’ve got good players.
“Obviously we’re at home and we’re proud of playing in front of our own fans and need to come up with a performance that justifies their support, which was great last week despite the result.”
Tonight’s game will see the return of former Tigers heroes Rangi Chase and Weller Hauraki in Salford colours, but Cas are not making any special plans to deal with their threat.
Powell said: “Castleford fans know more than anybody what Rangi Chase is capable of. He does special things, but it’s about us denying him the space and field position to be able to do what he’s best at.
“Weller Hauraki’s coming back as well and hopefully we can make sure his return to Cas is not a nice one. He was a really good player while I was at the club, a good back rower, very strong and very skilful so we know the threat he carries.
“But we shouldn’t focus on what Salford can do, it’s about us looking after ourselves. Obviously you’ve got to be mindful of Rangi, he’s a little bit different to everybody else, but we need to do our jobs.
“One of the things that has been pleasing is that we have missed less tackles than anybody else in Super League.
“Last week was a bit of an anomaly in terms of what we have delivered and how we’ve played the game. Hopefully we can prove that was the case with the way we perform this week.”