“Obvious it wasn’t working” – Super League club assessing their options after shock coaching departure

This week Wakefield Trinity fans were shocked to see that newly appointed assistant coach James Ford was headed to Featherstone Rovers to act as Director of Rugby.

The club eventually made a statement on the matter but now further light has been shed on the matter by Mark Applegarth.

“When we found out we acted swiftly and Fordy had told me he’d agreed to move to Featherstone so as soon as we knew that, we put plans in place to obviously move on quickly which we have done,” he said on BBC Radio Leeds.

“We’ll leave it at that really,” he added before saying they are looking at their options, “I’m speaking to a couple now but we’re just looking firmly forward, we’re looking at firstly Friday versus Leigh and then attacking these next 15 games.

“It’s about keeping the group tight, which they are. They’re a very together group and we’re just making sure that we get where we want to be, which is off the bottom of the league and with a couple of wins on the board so we can play rugby that’s more in line with the Wakefield Trinity DNA.

“We showed some of that in the last ten minutes against Hull but we need to do it from minute one, that’s what we’re known for and it’s something I need to promote in the lads.

“I’m head coach and I’ll take responsibility but I just want to loosen the lads up a little bit and be more fluent with the ball in hand and be more attacking minded.”

He also said it has not been disruptive as “it was obvious it wasn’t working.”

“Not really, he probably needed something because it was obvious it wasn’t working at this moment in time. I wish him the best, he’s made his decision and I’m not going to go into anymore detail on that but my focus is on giving all my focus to Wakefield Trinity.

“I won’t be really making any more comment on that, it’s happened, we move on and we go full steam into Friday night and then the next 15 games.”

Now Applegarth is looking ahead to the clash with Leigh Leopards in the Challenge Cup:

“The Challenge Cup is a prestigious competition and no one wants to do it a disservice.

“You’re right in that our league position is of more importance to us this year but we’ll be going out and wanting to represent Wakefield Trinity in the right way in the Challenge Cup.

“Obviously there’s a couple of senior heads missing but that doesn’t mean we’re writing it off, we’re using it as a chance to give a couple of younger lads a taste of first team rugby.

“We’re looking at building some combos, we look a bit afraid to play and I just want us to go out there, express ourselves a bit more and play with some more fluency. I’d just like to see the lads play without fear and be less rigid, that’s not Wakefield for me and that’s something I’ve been trying to work on the past couple of weeks, giving them more of a license to play.”

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