Castleford give Steadman time to sort out team's problems

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The Independent Online

Graham Steadman has been given the dreaded vote of confidence to continue as coach at Castleford.

Graham Steadman has been given the dreaded vote of confidence to continue as coach at Castleford.

Steadman, without a win in Super League and out of the Challenge Cup after the 26-0 defeat at Hull on Sunday, faced his board of directors in what was easy to construe as a crisis meeting, but emerged with his job still in his grasp.

A statement from the club said: "We all have high expectations and goals and clearly those have not been met in the Challenge Cup and the early part of the season. Graham believes that he knows the action he needs to take to turn things around and we support him."

The other coach under pressure recently, Widnes' Neil Kelly, says that members of his under-achieving team are playing for their futures over the next few games. He hinted that there could be a clearout at the Halton Stadium, unless results and attitudes improve - starting with this Friday's demanding game at St Helens.

"Most supporters are content if they can see commitment and pride and they didn't see that against Huddersfield in our last game," Kelly said. "I'm not making massive threats, but I'm looking to see what sort of response we get. There's no big axe hanging over people, but if we need to make changes there's scope to make them."

Kelly says he is scouring the world for a new scrum-half, following the release of Dean Lawford and Martin Ainscough's double leg fracture, but has not yet identified one who he believes can do the job for him.

Stephen Myler, the 19-year-old son of Kelly's assistant, John Myler, will fill the role at Saints, his former club. "He's basically a stand-off, but he's a very sensible player who understands the game. We could play him in a number of positions," Kelly said.

He expects to have Adam Hughes fully recovered from injuries sustained in a minor car crash and Troy Wozniak and Steven Rowlands also available.

Saints are likely to use their Samoan forward, Maurie Fa'asavalu, for the first time after he was an unused substitute in the Cup victory over Leeds on Saturday. Ian Millward, Saints' coach, said: "I'm really happy with the way he's developing. But I'm being really, really careful with him."

Leeds' Gary Connolly, who strained his calf at St Helens, is struggling to be fit to face his former club, Wigan, on Friday night. The game will go ahead after Leeds rectified problems along one edge of their pitch, caused by heavy plant over the winter. The Huddersfield full-back, Paul Reilly, has been found not guilty of striking an opponent during the Challenge Cup victory over Doncaster.

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