Castleford Tigers have been doing it tough lately and that was reflected in the attendance at the Jungle last week.
The Tigers only had 4,000 in attendance against Hull FC in the Challenge Cup and over 2,000 fans were from the Black and Whites.
Now, Castleford coach Andy Last has addressed these attendances:
“The form hasn’t been great and aspects of our performances have been poor on the eye and Cas have always had a really good history of playing a really expansive brand,” he said on BBC Radio.
“I think what’s important for us as a group is we can’t get distracted by that. We’ve got to just make sure that we continue to work hard, trust in the process, believe in each other, come up with energy on a training day and hope we start to get some wins and hope we start to get some performances which encourage the supporters to come back and support the team.
“There are a large nucleus of the fans who were fully supportive and understand the transition that we’re going through as a club and they’ve continued to turn up and they’ve showed their appreciation after games.
“I’m sure there’ll be a reasonable following going to Huddersfield, and they’re the real die-hards of the club and will support us through thick and thin, and we desperately need those guys to support us.
“We’re hurting, nobody’s hurting more than the playing group and the coaching staff. I know the fans are hurting and we’re hurting as well. We just want to go out there and give the best performance that we can, show the best version of ourselves and hopefully that will be enough to get the supporters appreciative of the efforts that we’ve put in.
“Hopefully we’ll start to get some wins and they’ll start getting behind us again in terms of the numbers down at the jungle.”
Asked if he expected short term pain at the start of the project, he said:
“Yes, 100% expected a little bit of short-term pain. At the moment, obviously I’m having to cop some criticism and wear some bruises and take a little bit of flack. I totally understand that.
“That’s what comes with being a head coach of a club which is struggling. But as a leader, you have to be strong enough to cop that criticism, attack that criticism head on and try and flip the negative into a positive.
“I think what’s important is you know that the group are working hard, we’re still together, we’re a little bit low on confidence and we understand that but it only takes you know one performance or a couple of moments within a game you know to flip around the whole season.
“We’re hoping that comes on Friday night against Huddersfield and we get a good performance get a win and then it’s on to the Magic Weekend against Leeds.”