Mark Applegarth shoulders responsibility after Wakefield Trinity continue winless start to season

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
​Head coach Mark Applegarth has taken some of the heat off his Wakefield Trinity players by admitting the buck stops with him.

​Applegarth has had a rough start to the head coach role with nine defeats from his first nine matches in charge, the latest coming by a hugely disappointing 32-0 margin against a Leigh Leopards side that was playing at Championship level last year.

It was the fifth time already that Trinity have failed to register a single point in a Betfred Super League game and the head coach is beginning to lose the enthusiasm he has brought to his role since being a surprise appointment to succeed Willie Poching.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “Ultimately I’m head coach so it’s my responsibility. The responsibility is all of us, but the buck stops with me.

Mark Applegarth: "The buck stops with me". Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comMark Applegarth: "The buck stops with me". Picture: Allan McKenzie/
Mark Applegarth: "The buck stops with me". Picture: Allan McKenzie/

“We are doing one thing in training and doing another thing in a game, that’s the kind of thing that rattles you as a coach.

"Of course I feel I’m the right man. It’s frustrating, but it’s a difficult process I’ve got to go through.

"I have pretty honest chats with the board – one of my main values is honesty. I’ve never hid away if it’s something I’ve done.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I feel I have led a team that’s prepared as well as they can this week, I don’t think we’ve executed it in terms as a team. Some have just not hit the level that is required at this standard. There are conversations I will have will them individual players.”

Read More
Wakefield Trinity set unwanted new Super League record after second half display...

Applegarth highlighted players he believes showed the kind of desire needed to get Trinity out of their hole.

He said: “There are some players that are giving it everything they’ve got. You are looking at your Jai Whitbreads, that effort Lee Kershaw put on in that tackle to run back, you can see how much it means to a few of them.

"Jay Pitts, I thought Sam Hewitt had another cracking game and I’ve probably missed a couple. They are the lads I need to build this team around.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They are the sort of people that envisage what I want Wakefield to be about. At the moment I don’t think we’ve got enough of us in terms of that quality, in terms of them efforts that we want to build that foundation on.

"Composure on the field is massive and we are lacking that composure.

"We know that every single week for us has got to be like a cup final.

"We are just taking it week by week, we’ve got to make sure we nail in training and everyone’s doing what we expect of them and got to transfer what we are doing in training onto the field.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is not getting easier any time soon for Trinity with their next two games now away to two of the title challengers in Wigan Warriors this Sunday (3pm) and Warrington Wolves on Friday, May 5 (8pm).

"Every game is tough when you are bottom of the league,” added Applegarth.

"The reality is that we find ourselves where we are. We can’t afford to be picky and say this game is tougher than that.

"We will have an honest review then will get ready for Wigan. Our focus will be no further than that. Everything is into Wigan and making sure we are best prepared we are to attack them."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Applegarth admitted Trinity were still in the market to make signings to try to bolster their ranks for the battle ahead.

He explained: “We are looking. The French league is finishing now, which offers a few opportunities up if you can bring them in.

"We are always looking for players that we feel will add quality, the issue you have in season are there are no real free agents who are match fit out there, plus they have to be affordable within the budget we are working with."

Leigh head coach Adrian Lam does not believe Wakefield are the certainties for relegation that some have made them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “I feel for the coach, they have been in a position to win certain games.

"They are not being seen for the good stuff that they are doing.

“We are only a quarter of the way through the season and Wakefield are not out of it."