INTERIM head coach Stuart Dickens admits only time will tell if some Wakefield Trinity Wildcats players really do care about the crisis club.
The former Featherstone Rovers prop has stepped up from assistant following James Webster’s departure this week.
Trinity were dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Championship Leigh Centurions on Sunday and have lost 11 successive Super League games to remain rooted to bottom.
A dejected Webster said he could not take his under-performing squad any further.
And furious chairman Michael Carter revealed he saw some players in the changing room after the Leigh debacle that didn’t seem concerned in the slightest.
Dickens said: “I saw some players afterwards who really did care, and I’ve tried focusing on those.
“Sometimes it takes something like being questioned before you consider whether you are giving it your all. Michael’s asked some honest questions and they’ve given us the right answers so far.
“I’m expecting a response, they’re saying they’re prepared to roll their sleeves up and work.
“Actions speak louder than words though, and what happens Sunday (v Widnes) will determine whether it had the desired effect.”
Dickens concedes the misfiring squad has to take some of the blame for Webster’s exit.
“When a coach leaves a club the players have to cop a bit of it,” added the 34-year-old.
“He generally leaves because players aren’t performing, and they are feeling they’ve let James down. They’ve an opportunity to put that right now.”
Asked if he wants the job full-time, Dickens added: “I’ve put a bit of thought into it but things have happened that quickly.
“It is something that goes through your mind. My first objective is to get a response from the team, and the response I get may dictate whether I throw my hat in the ring.
“Then it’s purely up to the people above me – but I’m not 100 per cent decided yet about whether I am going to apply.
“It has been a really tough week. The news that James was resigning on Monday and was leaving might not have been a massive shock to many people outside of the club.
“But when you’ve worked with him for as long as I have – four years – it’s always a shock. It’s been strange looking round and wondering where he is and having someone to lean on. It was difficult to see him go, but he’s given us his best wishes.”