COUGARS coach Craig Lingard offered no excuses after his side were hammered by derby rivals Bradford Bulls.

The first league game between the teams for more than 40 years proved a big let-down for Keighley fans as John Kear's outfit were runaway 54-6 winners.

The visitors ran in nine tries at Cougar Park on a day that left Lingard understandably hurt and angry with his side.

He said: “Sometimes in sport you have to hold your hands up and say a team has outperformed yours and that’s what Bradford did.

“It was a big derby game, and you want the lads to go out onto the field and put in a performance and it simply didn’t happen.

“I don’t need to ask the players any serious questions because they’re asking themselves the same questions and they are tough questions that need answering.

“For me as the coach, if I don’t give the players the information about the opposition or prepare them properly then I have to put my hands up and say I didn’t prepare the team right.

“But I gave the players all the information and they had a really good week in training and prepared themselves properly, which is a real concern given the performance."

Having been knocked out of the Challenge Cup by North Wales Crusaders, Cougars face a blank weekend before they are next in League One action when they head to York City Knights on Sunday, March 25.

But Lingard admits he may give his first-team squad another run-out in tonight's reserve clash at home to Halifax (7.30pm).

He said: “We need to get back out on the park as soon as possible and if that means we have to bash each other about in training then we will but I’m considering putting everyone out in the reserves and that is something I’ll discuss with the coaching staff.”