'I've still got full belief' says Wakefield Trinity boss Mark Applegarth
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But with more than half of the regular season still remaining the head coach is unwavering in the faith in his players to prove their critics wrong despite seeing their winless start to the 2023 season stretch to 12 games with a disappointing defeat at home to Hull.
"There's still a hell of a lot of rugby to be played," said Applegarth.
"We've got four points to claw back currently so if we can get a couple of wins on the board and start putting a bit of pressure on the teams around us, who knows what can happen.
"I've still got full belief that we can. I know that's probably different for a few people but we do think that.
"We know we've got to get better and can't keep on saying the same things and expect a different outcome. The belief is still there, for sure."
Applegarth always knew he faces a tough challenge when he agreed to take over from Willie Poching.
He insisted: “I knew it would be a big job and I get asked it regularly. We’re in the vicious cycle and we have been since 2018 when we last tasted the play-offs and we’ve been hovering around near the bottom.
“We know the whole culture needs a change so we can break that five-year cycle. You could even argue it’s a 20-year cycle barring an odd season here and there.
“Things are happening off the field to change that and now we need to make sure we are doing our bit on the field. I need to get better and the team needs to get better."
Applegarth remains happy with the work being put in by his players as they are not being hammered week in, week out as many bottom of the table teams would be.
He added: "It's very frustrating because the effort is there but it's not enough.
"We've got to get the other ingredients into the pot and make sure they're cooking as well.
"If someone said to me you'd be on round 12 without your first win as a coach, it's not pretty to hear. That's the reality and you've got to meet it head on and not bury your head in the sand and pretend it's not there.
"You've got to learn your lessons to make sure you can change it."
Trinity now have a rest from the pressures of Super League survival as they enter the Betfred Challenge Cup competition with a sixth round tie at home to Leigh Leopards.
Friday night’s match offers Applegarth’s men a revenge mission after they were humbled 32-0 at the Be Well Support Stadium last month.
A much improved display will be needed with Applegarth likely to use the cup tie as an important game in his bid to kick start Trinity’s campaign.