THE creative spine of the Warrington Wolves team is likely to be "a work in progress" for the rest of the year – and possibly beyond.

That is the view of full-back Stefan Ratchford, whose link up with hooker Daryl Clark and half-backs Blake Austin and Declan Patton will play a large part in how successful The Wire can be in 2019.

While Ratchford and Clark are more than familiar with each other, the incorporation of a new half-back pairing means the building blocks of their four-way partnership are still being put into place.

England international Ratchford thinks it will never get to the stage of being "perfect" and will still be developing next year, when international teammate Gareth Widdop joins the club.

"I think we’ve seen glimpses of what we can do," he said.

"Even though we’ve played four games, I don’t think we’ve played 80 minutes as a full spine yet.

"Even on Saturday, Daz (Clark) had to go off so Dec went to nine, I went to half and Jake (Mamo) came on at full-back.

"We’re still working and I think it’s probably going to be a work in progress all year.

"I don’t think you can ever get to the perfect point where you say ‘this is our level.’ We always have to look to improve.

"Me and Blake had a long chat on Monday morning about things we’ve done so far and things we can do differently.

"There’s been positive signs already and it’s a case of building through this year and next year as well."

The Wire face Castleford Tigers tonight, Thursday, with the aim of rebounding from Saturday's defeat at Catalans Dragons – their first of the Super League season.

Despite describing parts of their performance in France as "atrocious," Ratchford says there are plenty of positives they can take into the clash with Daryl Powell's Tigers.

However, he admits the mood in the camp has taken some lifting following the 23-22 reverse.

"Not every game is full of positives or negatives either way," the 30-year-old said.

"The first 25 minutes were atrocious from our point of view and way off our standards.

"To be 14-0 down and then put ourselves in a position to win the game is a positive sign that we can show some fight.

"It’s not all doom and gloom. We’re disappointed not to come away with the two points but there’s positives we can take.

"We’ve got straight back into it and got ourselves moving as quick as possible.

"The mood on the flight home and in training on Monday wasn’t great.

"We’ve got a short turnaround into a really tough game against a quality Cas side.

"In this instance, getting straight back on the horse is the best thing for us."

Castleford arrive at The Halliwell Jones Stadium with a 100 per cent record and as a result, they have been made favourites for the game in some quarters.

However, Ratchford believes that does not lift the pressure on his side – if anything, he believes it has increased with the need to avoid back-to-back losses.

"The bookies may make Cas favourites, but we’ll take no notice of that," he said.

"The pressure is there every game. It’s a matter of dealing with it now.

"With the performance we dished up at the weekend, there’s probably more pressure on us if anything. We don’t want to have back-to-back defeats.

"We have a massive task ahead against a quality Cas side, but we should head into every home game and 99 per cent of away games as favourites if we have ambitions to get to the very top. "We’re back on our home patch and we’re keen to make it a fortress.

"They’ve been building for years but in the past three years or so, they’ve proven themselves to be one of the best sides.

"Defensively, they have really improved and they come up with some nice stuff and trick plays in attack.

"If we can get ourselves in order and worry about what we have to do well, I’m confident we’ll come away with the win."