While he believed in his squad at the start of the season Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell admits he is slightly surprised that his side are challenging for top spot in the First Utility Super League going into May.
Powell reckons the Tigers should actually be on top of the table rather than in second with the result against St Helens still a sore point, but is full of praise for the efforts of the players so far in 2014.
He said: “We should be top because we should have beaten St Helens.
“You can’t tell me any different when you look at the refereeing decisions at the end of that game, but that’s gone.
“I think we have responded in a superb way after that result because it could have rattled us.
“We thought we were unjustly dealt with, but we have come back and beaten Wakefield and Warrington so you can’t respond any better than that.
“Last time we lost at Salford we went away to London and gave an outstanding performance.
“There’s a long way to go, but we just keep chipping away and getting our job done every week. If we can do that we will be in a good spot at the end of the year.
“At the moment the players are really doing us proud.”
When asked if Cas had done better than he expected so far Powell said: “I thought we’d be good. When you put a team together and you’ve got quite a few new players in there then you don’t know how good.
“But the way the players have gone about it, it is a rightful position. It’s not by any fluke or luck, the players are putting genuine performances in.
“Whether I thought we’d be second I’m not sure about that, but I thought we’d be competing on a weekly basis.
“We’ve got some very good players, some highly underrated players and in amongst that some players who are developing all the time.
“Our half-backs I suppose most people wouldn’t say are at the top level in terms of player, but they are delivering performances on a weekly basis and they are getting better. They are the glue that holds us together.
“In and around them we’ve got quality and we have got a lot of players who are playing consistently well.
“I’ve said to the players that we should be starting to believe that we’ve got a genuine team here. I don’t think the players need any more evidence that’s what we’ve got.
“It doesn’t matter who I put in, where I put them in, everybody just does their job.
“They’re a great group of blokes and they’re working so hard.”