Bradford Telegraph and ArgusBradford Bulls: We are desperate to respond, says Diskin ahead of Hull KR showdown (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Bradford Bulls: We are desperate to respond, says Diskin ahead of Hull KR showdown

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bulls player-caretaker coach Matt Diskin Bulls player-caretaker coach Matt Diskin

Bradford caretaker coach Matt Diskin has promised his side will be "fired up" for tonight's clash with Hull KR.

Diskin has been left to pick up the pieces following the Bulls' crushing 46-18 defeat at Salford last Sunday and the subsequent sacking of head coach Francis Cummins and his long-serving assistant Lee St Hilaire.

Victory against the Robins is a must if Bradford are to keep alive their slender hopes of avoiding relegation from the First Utility Super League and Diskin believes the players are ready for the fight.

"We are smarting as a group and are desperate to respond," the former Leeds hooker said.

"With that in mind, I believe our supporters can expect to witness a fired-up Bulls team tonight. I think it goes without saying that we have only one aim."

Not surprisingly, Diskin has selected himself and, after expressing his dismay at the latest turn of events and agreeing reluctantly to step into the breach, he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into his first coaching experience.

"The past few days have been pretty strange for me but I have really enjoyed being out on the paddock, coaching the guys," he said.

"I have put in a lot of extra hours in this week, ensuring we are as well prepared as we can be come kick-off.

"We are looking forward to getting out there, though I guess it will be a little odd, for me, captaining and coaching at the same time. It will be a new experience to say the least.

"I have had to make some tough calls in terms of selection but those missing out are fully aware of the reasoning behind it. Picking a team, I must admit, has been rather bizarre though."

Cummins labelled his side's defensive efforts against the Red Devils "pathetic" and Diskin knows they must improve drastically if they are overcome a Hull KR side who have themselves conceded 88 points in their last two matches.

"We know we have to be much better defensively and that has been the topic of conversation this week," Diskin added. "It is not about defensive systems and structures, it is about commitment and concentration.

"Hull KR come into the game struggling for form. They have been hit hard by injury setbacks, but are a dangerous side when firing on all cylinders.

"We are expecting a very difficult test, as they have plenty of quality in their ranks, but we know what we are capable of."

The Robins have slipped out of the top eight after suffering heavy back-to-back defeats by Castleford and Warrington and coach Craig Sandercock is hoping a win at Odsal will kick-start their campaign.

"We are still really confident and it is amazing what a win would do for us," said Sandercock, who is in talks over a new contract. "We are really positive of a big year and that starts again tonight."

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