Ferres admits Tigers face tough times

PA Sport
Castleford face a tough match against St Helens on Friday night
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Castleford face a tough match against St Helens on Friday night

Struggling Castleford head to St Helens on Friday night with chief executive Steve Ferres admitting there is no way of dressing up their current plight.

After a promising 2011 season which saw them reach the Challenge Cup semi-finals and go within a whisker of reaching the play-offs, they have endured a torrid campaign both on and off the field this time around. A 42-20 home loss to a previously-woeful London did little to help spirits either and - according to Ferres - a lot of hard work lies ahead.

"I'm afraid there is no way of sugar-coating the current situation," he said. "The club needs to change on a number of fronts and also requires significant investment in order to re-establish Castleford Tigers as a competitive force in Super League."

He added: "At a minimum we need to be in a position where we are capable of spending the full salary cap.

"I would like to reassure everyone that we are working very hard with a number of high-quality business people to map out and introduce these changes but the fans are absolutely central to its future success.

"We know we have the loyal fans out there but we also know that they are becoming increasingly disillusioned as a result of the recent poor performances. This must change."

The chances of it doing so against a Saints side aiming to build momentum ahead of the play-offs are slim, however. Mike Rush's men were stung by a last-gasp Paul Sykes drop goal that earned Wakefield a one-point win over them last Sunday, but they remain one of the biggest threats in the competition, especially at home.

Despite the odds being stacked in the favour of his players, Rush is making sure he has all bases covered.

"We are preparing for the best Cas team because you can turn it around in a game," Rush said. "That said, this week is about us and our willingness to defend and roll our sleeves up and get back on track ahead of the play-offs.

"We have to have a mentality to work for the play-offs and be there when they come around."

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