Jamie Foster has no doubts the Bulls will be vastly improved when they face Castleford again in next weekend’s Super League opener.
Francis Cummins’ side were stuffed 66-10 by the Tigers in their third and final pre-season outing last Sunday.
Although the scores were level at 10-10 midway through the first half, Castleford then ran in 56 unanswered points in a remarkable victory.
Daryl Powell’s men face a swift return to the Provident Stadium in round one of the new season.
Bulls winger Foster said: “Sometimes you have one or two players having an off-day but when you have 18, you’re going to struggle.
“Castleford played very well, take nothing away from them, but we were very poor and I believe it was a one-off.
“Our first pre-season friendly against Hull was nothing like that and neither will our opening Super League game against Castleford. I think if anything it was a kick up the backside that we needed and we’ll just focus on things in training to where we need to improve.
“We’ll be stronger a week on Sunday, not just because of the personnel we should have back but also because of what’s at stake.
“I came off the pitch absolutely shattered and thinking ‘what on earth has gone on there?’ We don’t train like that and our training is a lot more intense.
“I’m not sure why we played like that but I’m sure that next time we’ll be a completely different outfit. We lost by 56 points on Sunday but if we win by a point next week then nothing gets said.”
Castleford were closer to full-strength than Bradford last weekend, with Garreth Carvell, Jarrod Sammut, Brett Kearney Luke George, Lee Gaskell and Matty Blythe all missing.
It remains to be seen how many of those absentees will be available next week, with Carvell in dispute over his contract with the Bulls and several other players nursing injuries.
Meanwhile, the Bulls will discover next week if they are to face a points penalty after OK Bulls Ltd entered administration last Friday.
Although Bradford have said they will work with creditors to avoid that sanction, Wakefield are believed to be among a number of Super League clubs putting pressure on the RFL to dock Bradford points.
Talks took place between the Bulls’ directors and the RFL yesterday over the club’s change of ownership and administration.
The RFL’s chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer and director of licensing and standards Blake Solly will present a report of their findings to the governing body’s board of directors.
A final decision of what sanctions the Bulls should face will then be made by the board and announced next week – but a points deduction of some sort appears increasingly likely.