CRAIG Lingard believes Cougars' powerful front-row additions give them a plan B for next season.

Samir Tahraoui rejoined Keighley last week, having enjoyed a loan spell when the club reached the League One play-off finals in 2015, to bolster an engine room already boosted by new signings Harvey Hallas and Trae O'Sullivan.

Lingard reckons the trio will give Cougars – who returned to training on Tuesday – a more physical dimension in addition to their expansive, attacking approach they adopted in his first year at the helm.

The head coach said: "When we came up against some of the bigger teams such as Whitehaven and Barrow, who have big packs, we struggled to get any momentum moving forward.

"We’ve got some forwards who are real smart and have got good late footwork and good agility but we didn’t really have anyone who could scatter a few defenders and just offer us a plan B."

Lingard believes his new recruits will provide that outlet, 6ft 6in Tahraoui having penned a deal for next season after joining from Championship club Rochdale.

On the former Bradford Bulls prop, who signed on loan with York in May last season only for knee and thumb injuries to prevent him making an appearance for the Knights, the Cougars coach said: "He is a big man, aggressive and certainly what we identified we needed to bring in.

"He has been involved in promotion from League One as well so I think it is an exciting announcement."

Lingard said the addition of O'Sullivan from Batley – on dual-registration initially and then on loan before making a permanent move at the end of the campaign – had already given Cougars more of an edge in this year's Super Eights.

He said: "Trae played with us at the end of the season and I don’t think it is coincidence that when we brought him in our form picked up and we were unbeaten in five games in the Super Eights. He gave us a different dimension.

"Now we also have Harvey and Samir, it gives us that plan B.

"We've still got smart players who can pick a pass, put late footwork in and can offload but now we have brought something different to our game which I really wanted us to do after identifying that we didn’t really have that in our squad last season."

Lingard believes that Hallas - signed from Wakefield's under-19 academy - will provide Cougars with crucial go-forward which their play-makers can exploit.

He said: "Harvey offers something a little bit different in that he makes a lot of metres after contact. He has real good leg drive and attracts a lot of defenders.

"It is one thing you look at in players – not necessarily just metres made but metres made after initial contact.

"The more you make the more defenders that attracts to bring you to the ground.

"We’ve got smart hookers who can play real quick out of dummy half and not only them but also our outside backs and full backs.

"We’re hoping with the carries that Harvey makes he’s going to attract defenders and we’ll get some quick rucks and play off the back of that,so I am really pleased to get him on board."

Meanwhile, it is thought the League One fixtures for next season will be released on Wednesday, November 15.