SKIPPER DANNY Kirmond admits Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ players have to take responsibility for their league position – and the departure of coach James Webster.
Webster quit this week with Wildcats seven points adrift at the foot of First Utility Super League, on a run of 11 straight league defeats and having lost to Kingstone Press Championship side Leigh Centurions in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Stuart Dickens, Wakefield’s under-19s coach will be in charge for tomorrow’s home game against Widnes Vikings.
“When something like this happens you have to take a step back and have a look at your own role as players,” conceded Kirmond, who said he was “devastated” to see Webster leave.
“You have to be honest with yourself. We’ve not performed as well as we can.
“This squad, if you look on paper, is probably the most talented we’ve had at the club for four or five years, so for us to be sitting bottom of the league and not having had a win in 10 weeks is our fault.
“At end of the day the game is about results and once we go over that white line no coach can help you much out there.
“You have to look at yourself. Deep down everyone will know they’ve played a little part in that.”
That said, Kirmond insisted he is confident Dickens can do a good job as caretaker boss until a new coach is appointed, probably after the Magic Weekend clash with Castleford Tigers a week tomorrow.
“We’ve had a couple of really good sessions and some good stuff from Stu,” he said.
“If you’ve seen Stu play – and I’ve had the honour of playing with Stu Dickens – he’s a real no nonsense kind of guy, heart on sleeve.
“He’s softly spoken, but when he gets out there he’s no nonsense and tells it as it is. He has given everyone a clean slate and said go out there and play your best for me.
“You can’t ask for any more than that. He has got Gilly [Lee Gilmour] helping him, who doesn’t mind chipping in every now again.
“They’ve brought some enthusiasm and brought some smiles after that disappointing news earlier in the week.”
Kirmond expects a positive response tomorrow. He added: “The reaction has been very good and positive. Everyone wants to put things right and you should see that on Sunday.”
Matt Ryan could return tomorrow after a one-match ban, but Mickael Simon misses out for a similar reason.
England academy international Jordan Crowther comes into contention, along with Pita Godinet, Tom Johnstone, Reece Lyne and Chris Annakin.
Ben Kavanagh, who is on loan from Widnes, also drops out from last week’s team, along with Lopini Paea and Ali Lauitiiti.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: from Anderson, Annakin, Arundel, Collis, Crowther, Godinet, Hall, Johnstone, Kirmond, Lyne, McShane, Miller, Molloy, Owen, Riley, Ryan, Scruton, T Smith, Washbrook.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Ashall, Brown, Clarkson, Dudson, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Heremaia, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, Owens, Phelps, White, Whitley.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.