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Brett Kearney totally focused on keeping Bradford Bulls up
BRETT Kearney has not ruled out the prospect of staying with the Bulls should the club be relegated – but he insists his sole focus is on trying to avoid the drop.
The Australian full back will make a hugely welcome return to action at Warrington tomorrow as new head coach Jimmy Lowes takes charge of his first game.
Kearney has missed the last seven matches after breaking his right thumb during the win over the Wolves on May 4.
The 30-year-old underwent surgery and is now raring to go as Lowes' men aim to kick-start their season at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Kearney, who joined Bradford from Cronulla Sharks ahead of the 2010 campaign and has proved a huge success at Odsal, said: "Everyone wants to stay in Super League and be the best they can.
"I'd be surprised if there was a player here who said they were happy to go to the Championship.
"I guess I've been holding things off a little bit to see what happens here, and I still am, but I'm leaving that in my agent's hands.
"In an ideal world, we would win ten games, the Bulls would stay up and I'd be re-signing here for a further few years.
"That's a bit of a pipe dream but I'll be honest, staying here is something I've thought about.
"Like I said, you always want to play at the highest level possible but I've been here for five years and the thought of bringing the Bulls back up is quite exciting.
"I am settled here as well but the club will have to consider whether they want to keep me. At the moment I'm just focusing on winning enough games to stay up."
Kearney is expected to slot straight back in at full back as the Bulls go in search of a sorely-needed victory.
The club announced this week they planned to take their points appeal to the High Court and Kearney said: "I'm glad the club are doing what they can and they obviously believe there is something there.
"But it's the furthest thing from my mind. The closest thing is to get two points, which has been our goal for a while now.
"Obviously relegation seems nearer so we need to be winning games as soon as possible.
"There is no reason why we can't win six of the last ten matches – and possibly more because we might need to win more.
"Wakefield beat Wigan last week and Salford have Kevin Locke coming in. I don't know how he's going to change their team but he might be the key ingredient they need.
"We've just got to win as many games as possible – whether that's five or ten. It would be nice if it was ten but we need to start this weekend."
Kearney paid tribute to Francis Cummins following his removal last week and said he had been impressed by Lowes so far.
"I sent Franny a text and am going to ring him," said Kearney.
"He's a good bloke. I really liked him and he helped me out a lot, especially at the start of the year.
"I will be staying in contact with him and I'm sure he will find a job somewhere else to continue his coaching career.
"Jimmy is a bit more intense, which is good for our squad, and I'm looking forward to working more with him.
"You often see a team is lifted and plays well when a new coach comes in. What we have to do is lift and play well for ten weeks. It would be good to start this weekend and I'm excited about it."
Kearney admits he cannot wait to return to action this weekend, adding: "When things aren't going well, the worst part is always sitting on the sidelines.
"Being out on the field and contributing is why I'm here and that's what I'll be looking to do.
"The rehab' has gone well but last week was just a bit too soon.
"I had the wires out (of the thumb) last Monday but I wouldn't have been able to have a proper training run before the Hull KR game.
"To throw me straight into a game of that importance was risky and it wasn't one we were willing to take. But I'm fully fit and raring to go now."