BATLEY COACH John Kear insists ‘the job is not done yet’ as he prepares his Bulldogs side for a potentially pivotal game in the outcome of the 2016 Championship season against Bradford Bulls.
Batley’s push for a place in the top four is heating up, having gained momentum thanks to five straight league wins which has seen them climb to third in the table, but despite his side’s top form Kear insists he hasn’t looked at the standings.
Bradford, on the other hand, slipped as low as sixth after their recent defeat to Dewsbury but are currently just one point behind Batley ahead of the showdown at Odsal on Sunday thanks to a comfortable win over strugglers Oldham on Wednesday night.
“We’re confident that no matter who we play we can win,” said Kear.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s Bradford, we just want to prepare the best we can and focus on our strengths rather than any of Bradford’s possible frailties because we know if we play to our full potential we’ll get a win.”
Batley are in a confident mood going into one of the most difficult games on the fixture list, following on from a comfortable win in wet conditions over Sheffield last Friday. The early scheduling allowed Kear two extra days to prepare and condition his players for the trip to Bradford.
“I suppose we are high on confidence but at the same time the players are still grounded,” added Kear.
“The players haven’t got carried away once this season because they know that we have a lot of work to do and there’s still plenty of time for teams to fall away, including ourselves.
“I’ve got a very strong resilient group of players that adapt well to any situation, they have already proven they are capable of good things, but the job is not done yet.”
Kear is confident his squad has what it takes to defy the odds and maintain their spot in the top four – and they were given a boost this week with the news that Alex Rowe will be able to complete the season before requiring surgery on his knee.
And other than long-term injuries to Danny Cowling and Sean Hesketh, Kear has almost a full squad to choose from ahead of their clash with Bradford.
Shaun Ainscough also requires a scan on an ankle injury he picked up against Dewsbury at the Summer Bash and will miss the Bradford game.