Daryl Powell made no secret of his desire to land new recruits immediately to help his Warrington Wolves side finish the 2023 season strongly.
The Wire fell to their third straight defeat in all competitions on Thursday night with a 22-6 scoreline against Rohan Smith’s rising Leeds Rhinos at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The result handed Warrington their fifth defeat in their last six games, including the quarter-final Challenge Cup defeat to 12-man Warrington earlier this month at the DW Stadium.
Powell has made no secret of his wishes to bolster his forward pack after losing Thomas Mikaele earlier on in the season, and most recently Josh McGuire after the overseas recruit was released from his two-year contract.
The side are currently without James Harrison due to suspension, while Sam Kasiano faces a nervy wait following his sin-bin for a shoulder charge on opposition winger Ash Handley.
George Williams is also currently sidelined through injury alongside back-rower Matty Nicholson, while Josh Drinkwater made his return on Thursday.
“For us, it’s about stabilising, getting our team back together and hopefully getting some recruits in to help us improve,” Powell said.
“We’re hopefully close-ish but it’s not 100%.
“We’ve worked pretty hard to get people in but we don’t want to bring anybody in who isn’t going to help us moving forward.
“We’re trying to get the right people in who will help us down the track, but there’s a lot of players injured at the moment and teams don’t want to let players go.”
Daryl Powell: “Our mentality and our work ethic has to improve”
In a somewhat strange remark, Powell then shifted his attention to just making the top six for the all-important play-offs come the end of the season.
It comes as a surprise following Warrington’s stellar start to the season going eight games unbeaten to sit at the top of the table, although recent form has seen them drop to fourth following wins for Leigh and Wigan on Friday night.
The Wolves looked to be challenging for the League Leaders’ Shield, and still only remain two points from Catalans – who face Hull on Saturday. But now Powell seems to be focusing on just making the play-offs following his post-match comments.
He said: “It’s about being in the top six. We’re nowhere near as consistent as we want to be at the moment, but what’s it all about?
“It’s about being in the top six at the end of the year and while it’s disappointing we’re not consistent, look at the team and make your own decision.”
On his side’s performance, the 57-year-old coach continued: “We’re losing rucks consistently, which means we’re giving massive metres up and getting dominated in terms of territory.
“Earlier on in the season, we were winning everything in that regard but we’re nowhere near that at the moment.
“There’s different reasons for that but in terms of solutions, we’ve got to find one on the training field that translates to the training field.
“It’s hard at the moment because I can’t take any middles out if they need resting or even dropping – I can’t do that.
“You’re then talking about bashing each other in training on five and six-day turnarounds, which is what we need to do to change what we’re doing, but it’s hard in the middle of a season.
“It’s not translating because our training time is not massive but I’m not making any excuses.
“Getting people like Jimmy Harrison, Matty Nicholson and George Williams back out there will start to make us look a little different, but that’s a few weeks away. It’s not going to help us next week.
“Our mentality and our work ethic has to improve.”