Castleford Tigers' Jake Webster spoke exclusively to the matchday programme, Black & Amber for the Big Interview in the Easter Monday game with Warrington Wolves.
In the programme he reveals his thoughts on returning to action at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle following almost a year out of action, make sure you grab your copy on Monday or buy online here now in print or digital copy.
Check out part two of the interview here where he talks about the club's positive start to the season and Monday's opponents.
A lot of players talk about the culture that Daryl Powell has brought in, but do you look at that a bit differently having been injured when he arrived?
At the start, I did not really know anything about Powelly, and even when he got here I did not have much to do with him for the first two months other than a meeting every now and then to see how I was going. I could see the change in the boys and how they were about the place. It was not necessarily rule changes, but the demeanour he walks around with and the standards he has brought in meant everyone had to live up to that. He does not take any nonsense.
Has that been the main difference in the big turnaround in fortunes this year?
Definitely, because he is a coach that you want to play for. That is the first step out of the way, because if you want to play for your coach, everyone will do whatever they can. He seems to get the best out of every player, and it is only going to be beneficial for the club and the team. So far, it seems to be doing the job.
You have managed to prove a few doubters wrong as well so far, is that comforting?
We always knew we had something special here, but as we always say, we have to keep raising the standards for ourselves. Every game that we have been in, we have been in control at some point, and it seems to be our silly mistakes that take the pedal off the gas. It is a different start to last year where we were just happy to be out there. Now everyone is putting their best foot forward, and we are trying for the win every week.
To look back at the mistakes in the St Helens game and realise that it was those that lost you the game as opposed to them being better must be a bonus?
Against opposition like that, you cannot afford to make mistakes like we did because they will capitalise on it. They proved that by coming from 24-6 down, and we just were not there. We go back the drawing board now and use that game as a stepping stone, and now we just build on what we are doing and improve each week.
Warrington have been there at the top end for the past few seasons, so this challenge must be as big as any other?
It is going to be a big test. They will come here after the Easter period and will be ready to go and wanting the two points, and if we are not on our game, it will cost us. Everyone has to come to grips with it. We have two big games over Easter, and we need to go all guns blazing.
Have you identified any big threats in the Warrington team after they lost a lot of players over the winter?
They have got Stefan Ratchford there who can do anything. He has got great feet, he is fast, and he is great with the ball. Their forward pack is massive for them as well, but if our forward pack is on their game it will match them up. They are dangerous all over the park, which they have shown for the past few years. It will be a big challenge for sure.
Has their indifferent start surprised you so far?
I have not really paid much attention to other teams to be honest, and I have just been worrying about us. When it comes to them, we will do a little bit of research, but we know they are a dangerous team, which they have been ever since I came to Super League. It will be a big challenge, and if we are not on our game, it will be a bit tough.
Photo: Melanie Allatt.
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