“IMG has forced us” – Castleford Tigers boss Craig Lingard hints at Super League signings during 2024 season

CASTLEFORD TIGERS head coach Craig Lingard has admitted that the club has fallen behind and that IMG has “forced” the Tigers into sacrificing on-field success to improve its off-field circumstances.

Lingard has been open at the lack of resources handed to him for the 2024 Super League season, with the club aiming to focus their financial clout into redeveloping The Jungle instead.

The former Batley Bulldogs boss took an honest stance when asked about the club’s situation.

“We have got to concentrate on us, we are as frustrated as the fans. I could sit here and give fluffy answers but it wouldn’t be the truth.

“All I can do is give the situation we are in. The club, barring a couple of years, over 25 years have had Super League money.

“But, the ground is pretty much as it was since the start of Super League. IMG has forced us into this mode we are in now and the plan we have got now.

“We have got to make sure off the field that the club are doing what they need to do and everything will be in place at the end of the season.

“Rightly or wrongly, people want to see a winning team but we have been forced into a situation where we are developing players. We have a long-term plan which is something we haven’t had for a number of years.

“There will be a lot of frustration within and outside and certainly from the supporters as they want to see a winning team every week.

“We are fully committed we will get to the end of this. Once we have secured Super League status we can start bringing in bigger names, marquee names.

“We might be able to do that this season and hopefully we can but we will work with what we’ve got.

“We are confident in the players we’ve got that we can build them into Super League players – not all of them will get there but the majority we hope will.”

Talks to bring in new blood are already underway.

“Conversations are happening daily, Danny Wilson is working his socks off behind the scenes, speaking to agents, clubs and players and we are doing what we are doing as a playing group to get us there.

“Meanwhile, the club is doing what they need to off the field to get us the points to secure Super League status.”

Will Lingard head into the loan market like the likes of Leigh Leopards who have brought in Brad Dwyer.

“We are always looking and asking the questions but with the Challenge Cup next week, people won’t let their players go out to get cup tied.

“That might be a few weeks before we get any players that are made available, but you have to rely on other teams.”

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