CASTLEFORD Tigers captain Michael Shenton admits his side can make a real “statement” by winning at champions St Helens tomorrow night.
The West Yorkshire club has not tasted a league victory there in a quarter-of-a-century but, more pressingly, they have also yet to pick up a win of any sort this year.
Castleford have lost their opening two games - albeit by narrow margins - to Wakefield Trinity and Catalan Dragons.
Visiting Saints will not be easy either given they are coming in off a demoralising 39-0 World Club Challenge defeat to South Sydney.
“I’m guessing they’ll move on quickly from that,” said England centre Shenton.
“The World Club Challenge has gone now but they are still unbeaten in Super League and will still be confident going into this.
“But it’s all about this Cas team at the minute and how we go about what we want to do in this game and what we want to get out of it.
“Challenging ourselves going to the Premiers and to beat the champions would be a real statement if we could go there and make it happen.
“The weekend off has freshened us up and it’s been a good time for us to sort a few little issues in the team and the way we’re playing.
“We just want to get the season started for us and we have to start all over again really.
“We just missed out on the first two games but hopefully we’ll see a big improvement Friday and we’ll put a real good performance in.
“There’s some things clicking for us. The attitude in Catalans was brilliant but the stuff like good-ball sets is still a little bit off way we’re playing but it’s coming together and hopefully this week it will click together.”
Shenton, who played 51 Super League games for Saints between 2011 and 2012, admits he was surprised by the margin of their loss to NRL champions South Sydney.
“I was a little bit yes,” he said.
“I think they shocked Saints with the way they played, how much review they’d put into the game and how seriously they took it.
“Souths spent a lot of time reviewing footage of Saints in preparation for that game and it showed in the performance.
“They were very skilful and the discipline they went about the game - their completion rate being high 80s and, in the second half, 90s in second half - when someone puts that against you it’s hard to beat.”
Castleford, of course, suffered a huge loss on their last visit to Langtree Park, a 41-0 play-offs drubbing in September.
Shenton, 28, insists that will not give them any extra motivation.
“The way we finished last year...we’ve moved on, we’re a different team,” he said.
“It’s all about this season now and we have to worry about this campaign.
“That’s how we’ve got to motivate ourselves getting this campaign flying instead of worrying about last year.”
Second-row signings from London Broncos Matt Cook and Mike McMeeken are set to debut after being named in Daryl Powell’s 19-man squad.