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Hood: St Hilaire a top-drawer Bradford Bulls caretaker
Bulls chairman Peter Hood is confident caretaker boss Lee St Hilaire can lead the club into the Super League play-offs.
The former assistant assumed control of first-team matters following Steve McNamara’s departure on Tuesday and is immediately charged with ending an eight-game losing run.
Last week’s defeat at Harlequins saw Bradford slide to tenth in the table with six games remaining, yet still only a point behind the play-off places.
But with tough trips to Hull KR, St Helens and Wigan still to come, the first game of St Hilaire’s temporary reign – at home to Salford on Sunday – will assume even greater importance.
“I have complete confidence in Lee,” said Hood.
“He’s an extremely talented assistant coach who has now found himself in a battlefield promotion as acting head coach.
“I know he’s the kind of bloke who will relish that opportunity. His work ethic is a mirror of Steve McNamara’s and he’s a talented, young, top-drawer coach and I’m sure he’ll do well.
“The coaching staff and players are absolutely committed to reaching the play-offs.
“There’s no shortage of talent. Certainly there has been a shortage of confidence recently but the task is to get back on the horse and get riding.”
St Hilaire will receive support in his role from the coaching staff and players but Hood dismissed the possibility of any senior players stepping into the role as assistant, following speculation over a potential promotion for Steve Menzies.
“I think in any elite squad there is a leadership group and we certainly have that,” said Hood.
“Lee’s a very open-minded individual and I’m sure, in the right way, senior players will be able to make contributions.
“This is a band of brothers mentality, as it has to be in any professional sports organisation, and Lee will just get focused and get on with it.
“I know he has 100 per cent support from all the other coaching staff.”
Hood also called for fans to join the club in presenting a united front for the remainder of the campaign.
“Certainly within the dressing room and the club there is a great feeling of togetherness and it would be tremendous if that could be reflected across the terraces as well,” he said.
“We really do need the fans to get behind the boys. They’re determined to put right the shortfalls of recent weeks and get into that eight.”
Mick Potter is expected to be confirmed as the next Bulls coach by the end of the week.