They host Wakefield Trinity on Friday, derby rivals who have proved welcome opponents in recent times given Castleford have won the last 13 games against them, a remarkable run dating back five years.
However, given the manner of his side’s defeat against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday, Powell realises his under-perfoming squad can ill-afford to rely on that statistic if they want to add another victory to that tally,
Castleford had won both their opening games against Toronto Wolfpack and Wigan Warriors but then produced a strangely tepid display in the south of France.
“It was pretty painful to watch that Catalans game,” conceded Powell.
“We’ve just gone through the video this morning and it wasn’t pretty; they know they need to improve in every department.
“It’s an important game for us on Friday; obviously it’s a local derby and for the fans and everyone concerned with the club it means a lot.
“It’s a real focus of attention. Wakefield had a great win on Sunday so they probably come into this as favourites.
“For us we just need to play well. We were so poor last week, so off in pretty much every department that we’ve got a lot of work to do in front of us.
“We have a couple of training sessions but it’s more between the ears that I think we need to get it right.
“We were off from the start last week and we want to put that right on Friday.”
Castleford hooker Paul McShane was in the Wakefield side the last time Trinity beat Tigers, coming from 16 points down to win 24-22 at Wheldon Road on February 8 2015.
Powell must enjoying playing these opponents given his club’s record since.
“I do when we win; I enjoy every game when we win,” he added, as Castleford stepped up their preparations for opponents who earned a shock 18-8 victory over much-fancied Warrington Wolves on Sunday.
“But we have just got to play well; the past can’t help you really.
“It will be a tough game. They showed last week that they have a fair bit of spirit about them.
“They struck back from that loss against Hull KR and will be a challenge. They have good players and (Ryan) Hampshire has slotted in well at half in the absence of (Danny) Brough and they potentially have (Dave) Fifita back this week so they will certainly be a physical challenge for us.”
Hampshire scored eight tries in 22 games for Castleford when on loan from Wigan Warriors in 2016, playing a large stint on the wing,
He has largely been used at full-back by Trinity coach Chris Chester but Brough’s injury now sees him back in his favoured role.
Asked if Hampshire is making the most of that chance now, Powell replied: “It’s one game isn’t it? You never know.
“Being consistent at half would be a key one for ‘Rocky’.
“No doubt he’ll be motivated in that way playing half-back and obviously coming back here as well so we need to look after him.
“But they have some fair players including both wingers.
“(Bill) Tupou plays out of his skin.
“He really is strong and across the field they are a handful; (Kyle) Wood’s sharp at nine, obviously (Tom) Johnstone’s back from that injury now and he’s electric so there’s plenty to be looking after in their team.
“We need to play well to win this game.”
Powell had few answers to why his side were so impotent during the 36-18 loss in Perpignan.
Trips to France often disrupt clubs but he said the logistics of their travel were “spot on.”
“Mentally a lot of players were just way off,” said the coach.
“We never really got the game back. I thought there were a couple of periods there where we looked like we might have something about us but it fizzled out pretty quick. We didn’t have any consistency of effort or accuracy to be able to get over the top of them who were a pretty big and physical Catalans team who played well on the day.
“Sam Tomkins was back to his best days; I don’t know if that was about us or him but he certainly played well.”
For Castleford, Peter Mata’utia is available again following a two-game ban so he is likely to return at right centre.