Cummins turns to mind coach to help distracted Bradford Bulls players regain focus for opener (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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We have been punished enough, says Bradford Bulls boss Francis Cummins
Bulls coach Francis Cummins is hoping club psychiatrist Allan Johnston will help his players overcome their off-field difficulties as they begin the countdown to the new season.
Cummins, preparing for his second season as a head coach, fears the continuing uncertainty over the crisis-hit Bulls is starting to affect his players as they eye their opening First Utility Super League match against Castleford on Sunday week.
Bradford are reeling from their 66-10 home defeat by Cas at Odsal on Sunday, only 48 hours after announcing a change of ownership.
That brought back unhappy memories for Cummins, who was assistant to Mick Potter in September 2012 when the team suffered a 70-6 mauling by Hull, just days after a successful takeover.
“Unfortunately, it’s happened again,” said Cummins. “We get new owners after coming out of admin and we get pumped in the first game.
“I’ve got a psychiatrist who works with us and maybe he’s got to look at emotionally where we were because we didn’t really turn up yesterday.
“It’s an important part of the game. We are always looking for advantages to try to move on.”
Cummins, who was among a host of players and staff made redundant in the summer of 2012 at the height of the club’s initial crisis, is bracing himself for a possible points deduction after the club briefly went into administration in order to push through a change of ownership.
The club’s new directors are due to meet with the RFL later this week to explain their position as the governing body determines whether or not to impose sanctions.
Bradford are already operating on 50 per cent of central funding as part of the deal to secure their position in Super League two years ago and Cummins argues that the club have been punished enough.
“I suppose you’ve just got to treat it like all the other things we’ve had to deal with in the last little while,” he said. “It’s out of my hands. I can’t affect that.
“You rely on the game and the club coming to some agreement. We were in a tough position – not that they should be lenient because of that – but I think the club has been punished enough.
“The money situation is shocking. If you took a million quid off any of the clubs, they would be in dire straits.
“Our job is to make sure we are prepared for Castleford in round one and go from there. If by then they have made the climb a little bit steeper, then so be it, that’s the challenge.”
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