Give us a break! Bradford Bulls coach hits out at short turnaround (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Give us a break! Bradford Bulls coach Mick Potter hits out at short turnaround
Mick Potter has admitted the four-day turnaround between games has given the Bulls precious little time to prepare for tonight’s trip to St Helens.
Following Monday’s home win over Castleford, the Bulls head across the Pennines for their first-ever journey to Langtree Park.
Potter is unhappy with the lack of preparation time that his injury-ravaged squad have been afforded by the short space between matches.
The Bulls boss, who will be looking to complete a league double over his former club tonight, said: “It’s not right we should have to play with such a short turnaround.
“I don’t think it will happen again and there has been some reason given to us as to why we are the only team to have to do it but that’s irrelevant.
“It’s in the schedule and we are going to St Helens tonight.
“It’s not ideal preparation but we’ll take it on the chin and get on with it.
“The players haven’t been able to do too much training because they have needed that recovery time.”
Thus physical exertion has been kept to a minimum since Monday’s win over Ian Millward’s side.
Potter explained: “We have just been focusing on rehab – in the pool and stretching, things like that – and we had a captain’s run yesterday just to fine-tune things but really it’s just been a recovery period.
“I understand why it’s been done but, if it could be managed just a little bit better, it would be better for the players’ welfare.”
Potter guided St Helens to successive Grand Finals during his two seasons at the club in 2009 and 2010.
He was succeeded at Saints by Royce Simmons but the Bulls’ victory at Odsal earlier in the season saw the Australian ushered out of Langtree Park.
St Helens have struggled for consistency for much of the year but Potter said: “I’m expecting the same as what they always do.
“They are a top-line team who are potential Grand Finalists and they are hard to beat.
“They are hard to beat whatever their latest results are and they are a hard team to get on top of because they play for the full 80 minutes.
“James Roby is a dynamic player and that’s where everything starts from and, if he gets loose, then he can run 250 metres in a game, so he needs looking after.
“They will have it in the back of their minds that they got beat the last time we played them.
“They are a team that just want to win. I know their mentality and their culture and we know it’s going to be a tough old outing.
“It will be good to go to their new ground and see how the stadium has come up.”
Potter admits there is little room for error as the Bulls seek to maintain their position in the play-off places.
And he is calling on his side to improve defensively after shipping six tries against Castleford earlier this week.
Potter – who has named an unchanged squad – said: “If you are Bradford and you are sitting in eighth, then it means you have to try and win every single game.
“If you were second or third you could afford to lose a couple without going out of it but for us to lose a few, it would mean quickly slipping down the ladder.
“We know that if we defend as we did against Castleford we won’t be winning the game tonight.
“We are capable of defending better and the disappointing thing is that we haven’t been able to work on anything because of the short turnaround but we can be better and we must be.”
Meanwhile, director Stephen Coulby yesterday addressed Potter’s squad at the Bulls’ training headquarters at Tong and told them that every effort was being made to raise the funds required to avoid entering administration.