Joe Westerman is prepared for a difficult season by keeping Castleford secure – he has not even considered relegation.
A week before the start of the current Premier League season, a smuggled highlight video of the former England striker went viral, garnering negative attention. Since then, the Tigers have struggled on the field, winning only four games all season. They are tied for last place in the standings with their bitter rivals Wakefield with six games remaining and face a thrilling relegation battle on Friday.
In his first interview since his disgraceful drunken behavior, Westerman described to Mirror Sport how he dealt with the public altercation, confessing, “The first few weeks were difficult. It was a grave error on my part, a foolish drunken error that should not have occurred. Regarding football, I’ll leave that aside and assert that I played my best game yet again.
“I’m skilled at keeping things off the field when I cross that boundary. But it causes me to reexamine a great deal of things. I’m happier off the field and my children appear happier, which is significant because it is significant to be happy. It has been difficult for them. It is currently a very cordial relationship (with the ex-wife).”
Jason Demetriou urges Wakefield to utilize their successes from 2006 in their relegation battle. As the relegation battle intensifies, 33-year-old Westermann believes his club can reverse the tide. On Friday, new head coach Danny Ward assumed control for the first time since taking over with six games remaining. Former Leeds defender Blake Austin could make his debut against a revitalized Wakefield.
All comparisons were made to the 2006 Bellevue conflict, in which Castleford lost a crucial relegation penalty shootout at Trinity. Westerman, who has played for both teams, reflects, “In 2006, I signed a full-time contract with Cass.” Terry Mattson, my coach at the time, stated that if we had defeated Salford the previous week, I would have played my first game at Wakefield because we would have been secure.
“But we lost, we were relegated, and I played my first league game.” Friday is an important day for the club. As a player, I am aware that if you lose, you risk relegation, which is particularly significant for my native club.