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Bradford Bulls: Crucial we finish with a flourish, says Adrian Purtell
Adrian Purtell believes a strong end to the current campaign can help the Bulls build momentum heading into next season.
Defeat at Castleford nine days ago spelt the end of Bradford’s play-off hopes with two rounds of the season remaining.
Purtell, who admits he was disappointed with the defensive side of his game against the Rangi Chase-inspired Tigers, insists the Bulls are determined to finish the year on a high.
Francis Cummins’ men face London Broncos at home on Sunday before hosting Hudders-field six days later.
Australian centre Purtell said: “We went into the Castleford game looking to win the last three and now our focus has changed to winning the last two.
“It’s important to finish the year on a positive note and these two games in front of our own fans gives us an opportunity to do that.
“They won’t be easy but if we can build a bit of momentum and take it into pre-season then we can come out firing next year.”
Purtell’s playing career was in doubt after he suffered a heart attack in the aftermath of last season’s Magic Weekend defeat to Leeds.
But he made a tumultuous return to action against Hull KR in March and rapidly re-established himself in the side with some fine displays, making 19 appearances and scoring five tries so far.
The 28-year-old says there is plenty of room of improvement and believes he will benefit from having a full pre-season behind him heading into the 2014 campaign.
“I’ve still got a lot of improving to do,” said Purtell. “Defensively at Castleford wasn’t good enough for me.
“As one of the older, more experienced guys I’ve got to be in charge of our side.
“But I’ve been happy that I’ve got so much footie under my belt this year and am really looking forward to a big off-season so I can rip in and have another positive year in 2014.
“We’ve still got two games to go so my mind is firmly focused on finishing this season strongly.
“But it will be great to do a full pre-season and be around the boys for the duration of it.”
Garreth Carvell, Dale Ferguson and Luke George have been recruited for next season, Matty Blythe has penned a permanent deal and youngsters James Donaldson and Danny Addy last week signed new contracts.
Purtell added: “I think it’s very exciting for us with the players we have signed for next year.
“We’ve got a good backbone in a team that works really hard for each other and the guys we have signed are only going to make us stronger.
“The club is going in the right direction and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”
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