CAPTAIN MICHAEL Shenton says Castleford Tigers won’t heap pressure on Man of Steel Luke Gale when he makes his comeback next month.
The England scrum-half has not played since suffering a fractured kneecap against Wakefield Trinity on April 27, but could return in Tigers’ next game at home to Catalans Dragons a week on Saturday.
Shenton admitted that will give Tigers a lift, but stressed: “I don’t think we should put too much pressure on him.”
He said: “Jake Trueman is playing well and Jamie Ellis did [last Friday]. Galey is a good player, he plays well in big games and he’s an important player for us, but he has been out a good few months now so he’s going to be a bit rusty. He has been doing bits in training, but I don’t think we’re going to put lots of pressure on him to come back. If he’s not comfortable he won’t be put out there. He is too important for us. We will give him plenty of time, but to see him out there will be a great boost for us.”
Shenton was delighted with Tigers’ 28-18 win over Ladbrokes Challenge Cup finalists Warrington Wolves three days ago, which came a week after a 22-20 loss at Wigan Warriors. He said: “We got a response from the week before. It was a long week really, thinking about that. We didn’t do ourselves justice in that [Wigan] game. We talked about ourselves a lot. We knew Warrington would have a few things on their mind, they still fielded a strong team, but I thought we were too good and it was a pleasing performance.”
Tigers are back up to third in the table and Shenton added: “We’ve just got to stay in and around there. There’s some good teams underneath us, but we are trying to look up at the moment and not worry about that. It was important to get our first win in the Super-8s and put in a good, strong performance at home as well. The first 10 minutes of the second half wasn’t great, but I don’t think we are in a position to put an 80-minute performance together yet. There’s still some areas where we’re building, we’ve got a few players out and players coming back in. We’re still trying to find that balance.
“I thought Peter Mata’utia was outstanding out the back for us, he offered us a new dimension and our middles really stood up.
“There were some really pleasing parts of our game, but still a lot of improvement in us as well.”