CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Ian Millward believes the players owe the fans a performance against London Broncos following their tame surrender to derby rivals Wakefield (writes Tony Harber).
Head coach Millward was unhappy with the attitude shown in the derby game and wants a big reaction with the Tigers back at home again.
They now face a London side getting back to form in a game that could decide who gets the wooden spoon for 2012 in the Super League .
Millward told the Express: “Our first objective this week is to try to get some credibility back. We play against a London side that had a close loss to Catalan and then beat Salford so we need to be very good if we are going to get back on the winning track. The last two games have been very encouraging for London, but at the end of the day we need to control what we’re doing.
“I’m definitely looking for a reaction from the players. They are the ones who can control what happens. They owe the fans and they owe the club.
“You don’t have a club without fans and they were let down badly on the weekend.
“Everyone’s applauded and supported them about the way they went about their previous three games, but everything went.
“As a coach I’m just as disappointed as everyone else, but we’re working very hard with the squad we’ve got to rectify that. We don’t have a big squad, but that’s no excuse for the way the players played.”
Castleford were not helped by an increasing injury list and a squad that sees them barely able to name 19 fit first team players, but Millward refused to blame the absence of several key stars or the recent loss of experienced duo Brett Ferres and Ryan McGoldrick for the poor performance against the Wildcats.
He said: “I worked out we had eight players out, but that doesn’t excuse the way we played.
“We were very soft, we lacked aggression and it was a derby game.
“I respect that Wakefield are playing very well at the moment and with a lot of confidence. They were the better team on the day, but we struggled to control the ruck and gave up possession too easily. I’d probably struggle to give anyone a tick for their performance for us.
“Danny Orr tried very hard, but everyone can play a lot better and it was extremely disappointing.
“On top of our last three performances against Huddersfield, Warrington and Wigan I talked openly about how I excited I was about their attitude and about their application. But it was just a shock reversal on the weekend.”
Millward does not expect any of the players missing last week to be fit in time for the London game and he could be without another first teamer in full-back Richard Owen, who picked up a knock against the Wildcats.
He added: “Richard Owen’s in doubt. He got a leg injury and if he’s out I will bring a young kid up and give them an opportunity.
“Every game you pick up new injuries and bumps and bruises, but hopefully everyone else gets through.
“Jamie Ellis and Danny Orr were both doubts for the Wakefield game, but came through okay. They’ll both be fit and raring to go and they will both start.
“Craig Huby had to come off in the second half and he’s had an X-ray, but his hand’s not broken so he could be all right to play.
“But Rangi Chase definitely won’t play this week. I haven’t ruled him out for the rest of the season, though, we’ll see how he goes with his rehab. There’s no-one else back that missed the Wakefield game. It’s redemption time for the players that did play.”
Tigers forward Steve Snitch has received an official RFL caution for tripping Wildcats’ Danny Kirmond in the third minute of Sunday’s game, but Wakefield’s Dean Collis picked up a one-match ban for making a dangerous throw on Castleford’s Stuart Jones in the 31st minute of last Sunday’s game.