CONSISTENCY is the key word for Daryl Powell as Castleford Tigers prepare for tonight’s visit of Hull FC.
Castleford, fourth in Super League last year, have yet to record back-to-back victories this season and coach Powell has challenged his men to build on their impressive win over Salford Red Devils a week ago with another strong effort in the second of three successive home games.
Castleford’s two wins this year, at home to Wigan and Salford, came either side of a dismal 22-0 loss at Huddersfield Giants and Powell admitted his team will not be considered genuine contenders for honours until they can put their inconsistency to one side.
“In two out of our last three games, we have come up with pretty good performances, but in between, not so good,” said Powell.
“We are striving for that level of consistency that will make us an outstanding team.
“We have got all the ingredients and it is just a matter of putting them together on a regular basis.”
The victories against Wigan and Salford highlighted what Castleford are capable of when they hit top gear, but Powell vowed: “There’s certainly better things yet to come from us.
“We are getting in a groove as a team and the longer the season goes on, the better we will be.”
Hull have made a similar start to the season and boast an identical record of two wins from six games.
Powell stressed he is not under-estimating what the visitors – whose squad includes four former Tigers – will bring to the table, but he believes Castleford hold the key to their own destiny, tonight and for the rest of the campaign.
He said: “Hull have got some good ability and they will be confident, but we just need to play well.
“If we do that, we are confident whoever we play. We have played some good teams so far this year and we have matched, if not been better than, most of them. We believe if we play well we can compete with anyone.”
Castleford have had to contend with a series of injuries already this year and they will be without full-back Luke Dorn tonight after he suffered a badly cut lip against Salford.
Forwards Nathan Massey and Matt Cook also received one-game bans following incidents in that match.
Powell continued: “We have been rattled a bit by injuries and we’ve got two out suspended, but, hopefully, all that will settle down.
“At the moment, we have just got to crack on and get on with it.”