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Mick Potter frustrated in bid to kick off Bradford Bulls re-signing talks
Mick Potter has admitted the pressure is mounting to find a solution to the Bulls’ financial crisis and begin re-signing players.
A whopping 17 of Bradford’s first-team squad are out of contract at the end of the season.
The list includes Danny Addy, Shaun Ainscough, Alex Ball, Kyle Briggs, Tom Burgess, Jason Crookes, James Donaldson, Olivier Elima, Bryn Hargreaves, Ben Jeffries, Phil Joseph, Manase Manuokafoa, Liam McAvoy, Karl Pryce, Jarrod Sammut, Ian Sibbit and Chev Walker.
Potter and his coaching staff are also up at the end of the year and the Bulls boss is awaiting news on the financial review being carried out by the club’s major shareholders.
The outcome of the review is expected to be known by the middle of next week and could either allow the club to push on with plans to attract investment or force them to enter administration.
Either way, it will effectively determine the future of the club and that of Potter and his players.
My main concern is to start re-signing players if they need to be re-signed. That ball needs to start rolling very soonMick Potter
Potter, who takes his men to Salford tonight, said: “My main concern is to start re-signing players if they need to be re-signed. That ball needs to start rolling very soon.
“It’s a process that every club goes through every year. Nothing has happened for six weeks but there’s a process that you start with your top players and your younger players and you work through that until the end of the year.
“That process probably needs to start sooner rather than later. You’re not going to re-sign 17 players next week but you need to start working your way through them.
“Possibly they won’t all be re-signed. It’s a case of players performing as best they can to give themselves the best possible chance.”
Potter has been linked with the France national post and former Bulls coach Brian Noble is understood to be prepared to assist in any review of the football department.
Noble has also been touted as Potter’s successor should the former Catalan and St Helens coach not agree to a third year at Odsal.
Potter said: “I’m the same as the players – we’ll all find out what’s happening in due time.
“The off-the-field stuff has not had much impact on the football department, where it’s business as usual. There’s nothing happening as far as any changes for us.
“I’m sure there are implications in the short term but maybe there will be things to be learned about potential changes next week or the week after. Like I say, my main concern is to start re-signing players.”
Potter’s immediate focus is on tonight’s trip to the Salford City Stadium, where the Bulls will look to avenge their 38-18 home defeat in March.
He said: “The last time we played them has been spoken about. This weekend’s game is probably not so much about getting revenge but more about performing at our best.
“I don’t think we did that last time we played them. To be fair to Salford, they came up with some fantastic pieces of play for their tries but we need to do better.
“They’re a team looking to climb the ladder and are probably a little bit better than their position suggests. They’re a quality team and guys like Luke Patten, Daniel Holdsworth and Matty Smith can turn a game.
“We know it will be tough but it’s two points that we desperately need to try and climb the ladder ourselves.
“We trained throughout last week and just had the weekend off. I’m hoping the players will be a little bit refreshed and ready to go this weekend. They’re are looking good and are in good spirits.”
Potter will again be without Adrian Purtell (hamstring), Brett Kearney (ankle) and John Bateman (suspension) but he is happy to go with the same squad which triumphed at London Broncos a fortnight ago.
He explained: “If the players do the job on the field, there’s no reason why it should change.”