VETERAN SECOND-ROW forward Danny Tickle is playing a waiting game over his future at Castleford Tigers.
Castleford gave the former Halifax, Wigan and Hull man a lifeline in Super League following his release by Widnes Vikings in March.
The 33-year-old missed the start of the season after being injured in an incident in his home town of Wigan last November, but has made up for lost time with a series of strong performances for his injury-hit new club. Having signed until the end of the season, he is still unsure as to what will happen after that, but indicated he would be keen to stay at Castleford if he gets the chance.
“It is a great club,” Tickle said. “All the players are singing off the same hymn sheet and so far, I have enjoyed my time here.
“I will just keep moving and keep working and I will see what happens. I am just going to play it week by week.
“I have enjoyed it here so far and I got an opportunity quite early, after what I went through. I don’t pick the team, Daryl (Powell, Tigers’ coach) does that and he has got a lot of players coming back from injuries as well.
“I think that’s what he needs to have that winning mentality. You need competition for places and whatever happens, happens.”
Castleford will go into tomorrow’s visit of Warrington Wolves looking to overturn top-four opponents for the second successive game. Last week’s 38-24 win over Catalans Dragons was their first in Super League at Wheldon Road since April and ended a run of four straight defeats in all competitions.
“It was important to get the win,” Tickle said. “It has been disappointing over the last few weeks, especially at home, but I thought the lads played pretty well. There were a few defensive errors to work on, but we had a tough week in training and it showed on the day.”
The victory took pressure off Castleford going into the final two games before the competition splits into Super-8s and Qualifiers.
Hull KR’s derby loss at Hull two days ago would have secured Castleford’s place in the top-eight anyway, but doing it with two games in hand was a good achievement for the club in what has been difficult circumstances.
Castleford were tipped in pre-season as dark horses for the top-four at the end of year and a place in the semi-finals and that is not yet out of reach, with fourth-placed Catalans just seven points ahead and 18 still to play for.
The loss of key players to injury has had a major bearing on Castleford’s campaign, but Tickle insisted they aren’t looking to use that as an excuse and the target from now on is simply to win as many games as they can and see where that takes them.
“We are having a lot of injuries, but so are every other team,” Tickle observed. “We have just got to keep performing each week and it will be no different going into this week.
“We want to win every game. It is a great atmosphere to play in at Castleford when you’re winning. It is fantastic after the game, when you have won.
“It is all new to me, I have really enjoyed it and I’d like to think we can get another win this week.”
Despite feeling Castleford are capable of achieving something in the top-eight, Tickle is cautious about looking too far ahead.
He said: “There are a couple of games to go before the split and there’s still a long way to go in the season.
“Every team has their goals, but I think for us it is just important that the lads keep performing every week and keep building to finish the season strongly. Hopefully that is the case.”