IN ALL likelihood it will be his final game in charge of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow, but Stuart Dickens can think of no better way to sign off than defeating Castleford Tigers.
The assistant coach, whose main role is as the club’s Under-19s chief, has been in control of the first team since James Webster quit Super League’s bottom club almost a fortnight ago.
He could not instantly halt the rot as they lost 30-18 at home to Widnes Vikings on Sunday, a 12th successive league defeat.
But there were signs of improvement and Trinity are hoping finally to find success when they bring the curtain down on Magic Weekend tomorrow evening against their derby rivals.
Given Dickens made more than 400 appearances for Featherstone Rovers, Castleford’s other big foes, he likes the thought.
“It wouldn’t be bad, would it,” he said, with Wildcats’ chairman Michael Carter hoping to name the club’s new head coach before their home game with Leeds Rhinos next Sunday.
“I’ve had plenty of local derbies against Cas in the past as a Featherstone player and as a Wakefield lad and Wakefield coach so, yes, II think it’s a great weekend, not for me, but for the club as a whole to come up to a place like Newcastle’s St James’ Park and play a local derby like this.”
Dickens hopes to see further improvements tomorrow after encouraging signs against Widnes.
“I thought we got a good response and reaction,” he said.
“I just don’t think we gave ourselves much of a chance in the game, due to our indiscipline a bit at times. Every time we tried to build a bit of pressure we seemed to give a penalty away.
“We made too many mistakes with the ball and that’s something we’ve been working hard this week to try and fix up.”
His options are bolstered by the return of props Mickael Simon and Dan Smith from suspension and injury respectively against a Castleford side who are struggling themselves after three straight defeats.
On the matter of what happens next in the coaching set-up, Dickens said: “When James resigned I spoke to Michael (Carter) that first day and he asked me if I was happy to fill the role short-term.
“I was more than happy to stand in and told him what my ideas were for trying to get the best from the players.
“Obviously our priority has got to be stopping in Super League and I’ll try laying the foundations for moving forward for the second half of the season.”