INTERIM head coach Stuart Dickens admits there will be no “magic formula” to turn around the fortunes of crisis club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The former Featherstone Rovers prop has stepped up from assistant following James Webster’s departure this week.
Trinity were dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Championship Leigh Centurions on Sunday and have lost 11 successive Super League games to remain rooted to bottom.
A dejected Webster said he could not take his under-performing squad any further and Dickens, speaking to the media for the first time since his appointment, admitted: “It has been a really tough week.
“The news that James was resigning on Monday and was leaving might not have been a massive shock to many people outside of the club.
“But when you’ve worked with him for as long as I have - four years - it’s always a shock.
“It’s been strange looking round and wondering where he is and having someone to lean on.
“I had a very close relationship with him; we worked together for so long and it’s been tough.
“We spoke daily and it was difficult to see him go, but he’s given us his best wishes.”
Dickens, who takes charge for Sunday’s home game with joint-second-bottom Widnes Vikings, insisted: “The lads have been really good this week.
“James announced he was going and we all admitted we need to turn this round.
“We know we’re not going to just click our fingers and come up with a magic formula - we need to work hard.
“We’ve tried to change a few things to freshen things up a bit and tweak a few things what I feel might be able to help us do that.”
Dickens concedes misfiring players have to take some of the blame for Webster’s exit.
“When a coach leaves a club the players have to cop a bit of it to some extent,” he added.
“He generally leaves because players aren’t performing, and they are feeling they’ve let James down. They’ve an opportunity to put that right now.”
Asked if he wants the job full-time, the 34-year-old added: “I’ve put a bit of thought into it but things have happened that quickly.
“It is something that goes through your mind. My first objective is to get a response from the team, and the response I get may dictate whether I throw my hat in the ring.
“Then it’s purely up to the people above me - but I’m not 100 per cent decided yet about whether I am going to apply.”
Dickens added: “I’m interim coach at the minute, but how long that period is I’ve no idea yet.
“Obviously a lot of people will be throwing their name into the mix for the job and it’s up to (chairman) Michael (Carter) to decide as and when they put someone else in place.
“I’ve no idea about the timescale of that. I suppose the performances this and next week dictate how quick the process will be.”
Furious Carter revealed how he saw some players in the changing room after the Leigh debacle that did not seem to be concerned about that wretched result.
Dickens added: “I saw some players after in the changing rooms who really did care, and I’ve tried to focus on those guys.
“Sometimes it takes something like being questioned before you consider whether you are giving it your all.
“Michael’s asked some honest questions and they’ve given us the right answers so far.
“Actions speak louder than words though, and what happens Sunday will determine whether it’s had the desired effect.”
Salford Red Devils, meanwhile, have been linked with a loan move for Wakefield hooker Paul McShane.
“Salford have got no nines and I’m sure they’re looking around for someone to step in - but Paul McShane is in our squad and he’ll be playing for us this Sunday,” insisted Dickens, who is looking to freshen up his own squad.
“It’s really difficult; every club I’ve spoken to is looking to have a bit of a shuffle.
“Whether that’s to try and get a response out of their players or whether it’s to freshen things up because of injuries, we’re no different to any team.
“But I don’t want to put the team in a worse position than what it’s in now; if we can bring someone in to improve our first 17 then we’ll look at it.
“If someone has got to be moved out somewhere down the line then that may have to happen.”