Andy Last on recruitment struggles as he admits Castleford Tigers players weren’t considering a relegation scrap at the start of Super League 2023

CASTLEFORD TIGERS head coach Andy Last has admitted that his players weren’t considering being in a relegation scrap at the beginning of the 2023 Super League season.

The West Yorkshire side currently sit perilously close to relegation, with local rivals Wakefield Trinity only two points behind them at the bottom of the table.

But, Last believes that his players need to have the stomach for the survival battle ahead – even if they didn’t think it would be possible at the start of the year.

“They have to have the stomach for the fight ahead. There are nine (eight) games to go, we’ve got the ball in our court, we are two points clear at the moment and our points difference is a little bit better than theirs,” Last said.

“We need to make sure we are performing well and take care of our own business. If we get some wins and performances then the table will take care of itself.

“The players know the predicament they are in and it’s a tough one. The group at the beginning of the year weren’t considering being in a relegation scrap but you’ve got to deliver. Names on paper don’t get you wins and performances do. We need to make sure our senior players perform to the best of their ability.

“The group are working hard but we just haven’t been able to nail performance in the big moments.”

The Castleford head coach has been trying to recruit players to help ease the relegation worries at The Jungle, but Last conceded that it has been difficult.

“We are actively looking and trying to get the right people to come in to help our group is massively important. The players that come in need to add value to the group and make other players better, spark a little bit of positivity.

“We are looking but it’s all about making sure we get the right person.

“I can’t really comment on what other teams are doing, all I know is that we are looking and we have made enquiries about some players and the final part of it is getting the deal done.

“It’s tough, other teams have been a little bit more successful than we have, but we are looking and trying to get the player in that can make a difference.”