Matty Blythe is determined to make his mark as he returns to Super League action in the biggest game of the Bulls’ recent history tomorrow.
Wakefield visit Odsal with Francis Cummins’ men bidding to cut the gap between the sides to six points ahead of next Wednesday’s points appeal hearing.
The good news for Bradford is that five key players are available again, with Blythe, Matt Diskin, Chev Walker, Dale Ferguson and Jamal Fakir all named in the 19-man squad yesterday.
Blythe has missed the last six games after sustaining a knee injury during the home defeat to Leeds Rhinos on April 17.
He now looks certain to return against Richard Agar’s men as he looks to put the frustrations of the past six weeks behind him.
The former Warrington centre, who made his Bradford debut and scored a try in a home win over Wakefield last season, said: “This weekend is a massive, massive game and we are under no illusions about how important it is.
“We’ve trained hard this week and we’re looking sharp and feeling confident.
“Whenever there is relegation, livelihoods and careers are at stake, so we know what we’re fighting for.
“There are 13 rounds of Super League left and there is no reason why we can’t win a good proportion of those games.
“Players are coming back and the squad is getting stronger all the time, so we just need to stick together and keep working hard. We’ll show we mean business this weekend, definitely.”
Blythe reckons the Bradford supporters can play a pivotal role in helping the team to victory tomorrow.
The Bulls are hoping for a crowd in excess of 10,000 and the 25-year-old centre said: “The supporters are always behind us, which is a massive boost, and I believe they can play a huge part this weekend.
“The more Bradford fans at Odsal this weekend the better – they can be like an extra man when they are cheering loudly for us.”
Blythe is confident he will be given the green light to feature following his rehabilitation in the last few weeks.
“It was a torn ACL rather than a rupture but it could have ruptured if I had carried on playing, so thanks to the physios for dragging me off against Leeds,” he said.
“It looked like I was going to be out for eight weeks but I’m happy to be back in just under six.
“I’ve been training hard while I have been injured and this is effectively my third pre-season.
“I’ve been doing everything in training this week, contact-wise, and it will be great to get back out there.
“I watched last week’s game on the box at home and it was frustrating, definitely.
“It’s always frustrating, whether you are there or watching at home, when you know we’re not doing the things we should be doing.
“But that’s gone now and we’ll try and fix things that are not working for us at the moment. Hopefully Franny will pick me this weekend, whether it’s starting or off the bench.”
Owner Marc Green gave Cummins his backing this week and Blythe added: “Franny has had a tough job anyway with the shortage of players we have had.
“But at the end of the day, it’s up to us as players to go out and perform.”
Cummins said his overriding priority was to ensure his players produce a performance tomorrow – and he feels the result would then take care of itself.
“We defended really well and stuck together last time we played Wakefield at the start of the season,” recalled the Bulls boss.
“That’s what you’ve got to do – stick to the process. Don’t worry about outcomes because that’s when you start making mistakes.
“The worst-case scenario is that we lose but the best-case is that we can still catch them (Wakefield) anyway.
“Therefore we are not overly concerned with outcomes. We just need to stick to the process and be a lot better than last week.
“If we’re at our best then you’ve got to be confident we can win the game. If we can keep people fit then you’ve got to be confident we will start to find our form.”