Castleford Tigers set for last throw of the dice with appointment of new head coach to add 'a little spark'
and live on Freeview channel 276
An appointment is expected to be confirmed tomorrow with the new boss having one target – to keep the club in the Betfred Super League.
He will have six games to scrape enough points together to see off relegation rivals Wakefield Trinity and will face a baptism of fire with a four-pointer against their neighbours in his first game in charge.
Several names have immediately emerged to take on the hot seat as the Tigers' third head coach of 2023 with John Kear and Daryl Powell topping most fans’ lists.
Kear could relish the chance to keep the side where he was a player in the top flight. He has performed a similar feat, ironically with Wakefield, and is available to immediately take the job after recently leaving his position with Bradford Bulls.
His renowned ability to get players up for big games is in his favour and he has in the past made no secret of his desire to one day coach Castleford.
Powell, meanwhile, would be the popular choice after his previous transformation of the club from a bottom four team to Grand Finalists and Challenge Cup finalists.
He left his head coaching job at Warrington at the end of last month following their recent heavy defeat to Trinity, but whether he wants to jump straight back in at Cas is not clear.
Current assistant coach Craig Lingard could be a long term candidate to take on the head job, but he does not expect to be appointed in the role at this time.
He said: "I've always said I want to be a head coach at Super League level so I'd definitely accept the role if it was offered.
"I'm not expecting it to be offered because there are no conversations there.
"I think the club are looking at something outside of what's already at the club to try give a little bit of a spark until the end of the season to try get a bit of a response."
Last paid the price for Castleford's poor form, with just four wins from his 19 games in charge, but the results were not a reflection of his commitment to the cause, according to Lingard.
"If league tables were done on work ethic, work rate, dedication, emotion and everything you put into doing the job correctly, we'd have been top of the league," he added.
"Unfortunately, it's not transferred over into performances and ultimately that's what you're judged on.”
Lingard has been told he will remain in his Cas job until the end of the season at least.
He explained: "We had a meeting on Saturday, the day after Andy lost his job, and got an update from the board. They said whoever comes in would work with the current backroom staff.
"Up until the end of the season, I know I'll be at least the assistant coach there.
"After that it depends on how long the appointment is of the person coming. If it's just an appointment until the end of the season, we'll review it at the end of the season but if it's a longer-term appointment, that person might want to bring their own staff in next year.
"If that's the case, that's professional sport and people want to work with who they're comfortable working with."