Castleford are pushing to break into the top four, and anything other than a place in the Super League playoffs would be deemed a failed season.
That’s the verdict of captain Paul McShane who believes a stubborn defence developed by boss Lee Radford has been the key to an upturn in form that has seen the Tigers move 5th in the table ahead of Magic Weekend.
“We want playoffs and if we don’t make it then it is a failed season in the group’s perspective,” says McShane on this week’s Love Rugby League podcast. “Now we are in there, we need to push for top four.”
The 32-year old has praised Radford for revitalizing the side following a difficult start to the season, and believes that a change in mindset has been the key ingredient to their improved defence.
“Cas are known to be an attacking side and at the minute we have switched to a defensive side that everyone is enjoying.
“Radford has tried to bring this in from the start of the season and the players now believe in it, and we look like we are enjoying defending, especially against Huddersfield.
“Playing at home we are really building some momentum in front of our fans so I hope they are enjoying it too.
“We have always been a good attacking side with the belief that would get us out of trouble. Now we have the belief that our defence will get us out of trouble. It’s a confidence thing, knowing we can go with the bigger teams.”
McShane believes that in former Hull second row Radford, the Tigers have a head coach who can find the right balance between a disciplinarian and a man-manager.
“He is very good around the group and will talk to the lads,” he adds.
“The big thing is how the lads respect him. When he played, he played tough and has won things with Hull. He knows when to be serious, when to have a laugh, when to put his arm around you and when he needs to b****ck you. He has a really good balance. As a player it probably took a while for me to get used to that. Now I think it is showing in how we are as a team, the togetherness is unreal.”