Craig Lingard backed to add to Super League win tally at Castleford Tigers

CRAIG LINGARD has the right credentials to build on his first Super League win as a head coach and steer Castleford up the table, according to one of those who knows him best.

Mark Moxon worked alongside the Mend-A-Hose Jungle boss at various stages over an eleven-year period before succeeding him at the helm of Championship club Batley.

He was Lingard’s right-hand man during his four-season tenure as team chief at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, the last six months of which was spent doubling up as assistant coach of Castleford.

That was initially to Andy Last, then Danny Ward, whose two wins in six matches ensured the Tigers retained their top-flight berth at the expense of neighbours Wakefield after a difficult season that started with Lee Radford in the hot seat.

Lingard was handed the reins on a two-year deal in October, knowing he would be working to a strict budget as Castleford look to meet as many of the IMG club-grading criteria as possible.

While he masterminded a 28-14 victory on his return to Batley in round six of the Challenge Cup, the former Keighley coach endured six league losses before the 36-24 home win over Salford, which lifted his side a place to tenth.

And as Castleford prepare to visit Wigan on Friday, five days after hosting them in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, Moxon said: “I was delighted to see Craig get that first Super League win of the season.

“It was a big boost for him, (his assistant) Danny McGuire and the players to get that monkey of their back, and I know how hard they’ve all been working to achieve it.

“Craig and I are good mates, we still talk regularly and exchange ideas, and our two clubs are dual-registered, so I pay particular attention to how they are doing.

“He knew what he was getting into in terms of where the club are and the financial constraints when he took the head coach role, and I think the time he spent at Batley and as assistant at Castleford last season will prove extremely useful.

“Craig is under no illusions as to the challenges ahead, but that win over Salford will have given everyone a lift. I’d love to see them kick on and get a few more.”

Castleford expect outside back Josh Simm to be out for the season due to a shoulder injury that needs surgery.