The Tigers host defending champions Wigan Warriors on the opening weekend to kick off the Lingard era at Wheldon Road.
Castleford started their pre-season campaign with a rout of League 1 side Keighley Cougars before being held to a draw by London Broncos.
The quality of opposition goes up again this week and Lingard admits the Tigers need a positive performance as they look to put a hugely disappointing 2023 behind them.
“On paper, this is our toughest test and will give us a good indication of where we really are,” said Lingard.
“The first game against Keighley gave us a little bit of confidence with scoring points and not conceding any.
“The second game against London brought us back down to earth a little bit because our completion rate wasn’t great and we made a few errors.
“We’ll be looking at little stuff this week like our kick chases and double efforts at marker.
“I’ve said before that other teams can build as the season progresses but we have to be as close to 100 per cent in game one as we possibly can be.”
The date with Huddersfield is the last chance for players to impress before Lingard and his coaching staff sit down to select the team to face Wigan.
Lingard is set to select his strongest available side with a view to giving his middles a solid workout.
“We’re probably going to run with 19 or 20 again,” he said.
“Josh Hodson is out injured and George Griffin has got to see the specialist because of the HIA he’s got. Alex Mellor, Sylvester Namo and Will Tate are out as well.
“We don’t want to be rotating too many middles so will run with six again. Liam Watts and George Lawler will play, and Jack Broadbent will come back in as well after missing the London game.”
The match acts as Paul McShane’s testimonial at the start of his 10th season with the club.
The former Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity hooker will captain Castleford again this year alongside Joe Westerman.
Lingard has hailed McShane’s contribution to the club and his enduring influence.
“He’s massive around the place,” said the Tigers boss. “You saw at the end of last year how much we missed him.
“It’s not just what he does on the field but off the field as well with his enthusiasm, the extras he does with other people, his talk – everything that comes with being an experienced player.
“He’s a great player and a great bloke to have at the club as well. He’s a real inspirational leader and player for Castleford.
“It’d be nice for us to give Macca a real good day and a real good performance to start his testimonial off with a real positive.”