Channelling Big Sam & Warnock: Lingard wants fresh approach at Castleford

George Riley
Craig Lingard SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

New Castleford assistant Craig Lingard says that Wayne Bennett, Sam Allardyce and Neil Warnock are among his coaching idols as he steps up to Super League for the first time.

The impressive Batley boss will work under Andy Last a The Jungle, combining his two jobs for the rest of the season.

And Lingard believes there is a bit of snobbery when it comes to coaching and playing styles across all sports, with the most successful managers often being the ones who focus on the character of their players rather than just their skill set.

“I look at coaches from different sports not just rugby league, and look at longevity,” Lingard tells Love Rugby League.

“Wayne Bennett is the standout in rugby league. He has been at the top of the game for thirty years despite how much the game has changed. So what he kept him there? I don’t think it is technical or tactical.

“The most successful coaches in any sport are people persons. It is about the way you treat people, and then you have the technical knowledge after that. You need to concentrate on the individual before their abilities to get the most out of them in terms of performance.

“The revered US basketball coach John Wooden talks about getting the right people with the right work ethic. I’d rather have a great bloke who is an average player than an average bloke who is a great player. You will always get more out of the great person than the average person.”

Craig Lingard to bring his own style to the Tigers

He added: “Look at Sam Allardyce who talks of how everyone is blinded by thinking they have to play football like Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp. He’s adamant that there are different ways to play. If you play the same way as everyone else then the team with the best players will always win.

“Rugby league is exactly the same, a one yard try and a one hundred yard try both score four points.

“Look at Neil Warnock at Huddersfield and Roy Hodgson at Palace and how they have turned it around. They haven’t gone in there and redesigned football. They have gone in there and been respectful to people and got the environment right.”

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