JOHN Kear will give short shrift to any suggestion that Newcastle’s first visit to Odsal as a Championship club tomorrow is a nailed-on home banker.

Sandwiched between impressive victories against London and York and the daunting prospect of a trip to unbeaten Featherstone, the Thunder’s visit would appear to offer calm before the next storm.

The Bulls are on a blistering run of six straight wins since that opening-day shocker against Sheffield and the form guide points firmly to that continuing against the division’s new boys.

But Kear refuses to hear anything of the sort from those who might be taking the next game for granted.

“I think that’s very dangerous indeed and disrespectful to Newcastle,” he warned.

“You’ve got to be humble, even when you are playing well, you’ve got to be respectful and you’ve got to accept you are going to play a team who are desperate for points to stay in this division.

“Newcastle are dangerous and have got some good players.

“The full back Lewis Young is absolutely lightning and Kieran Gill in the centre scores tries for fun.

“They’ve got good half backs, who they’ve got on loan, Bob Beswick is always a really good player and they’ve got back rowers like Sam Wilde and Ellis Longstaff, on loan from Warrington, as well as Ukuma Ta’ai on the bench.

“They have a strong team. If anybody thinks we’ve only got to turn up and expect a comfortable victory, that’s when we are in trouble.”

Newcastle have won just once in six outings since being promoted from League One – ironically, that was against the same Eagles side who posted 50 points on the Bulls in round one.

Their other point came from a 30-30 draw with Widnes in their opening game.

Meanwhile, the Bulls head into the contest on the back of impressive victories over play-off rivals London and York.

Kear is understandably pleased with their progress but is braced for another spell to test their promotion credentials. Showdowns with unbeaten pace-setters Featherstone and Toulouse are on the horizon straight after Newcastle.

He added: “It’s very important to keep the momentum going and that’s exactly what we are planning to do.

“We’ve played seven out of the 22 games, so we’re a third of the way through the season.

“But this middle third I always identified as a pretty tough one so we’re going to have to be good for the whole of that.

“We’ve also got to be good with the immediate challenge and be respectful to what’s against us in Newcastle.”

“I think we are hitting our stride but I still think there is loads of improvement to come.

“People think that I’m just trotting out the old cliches but I genuinely do think we can get better.

“It’s up to us to prove that. The way you get better is by working hard and with constant improvement in all areas of the game, both individually and as a team.

“That’s what we will endeavour to do.”

Having waited 20 months to get back to Odsal, the Bulls will play at their spiritual home for the second time in eight days.

The unnatural constraints of the narrowest pitch in the competition may have taken some adjusting to but the manner of their performance in sweeping past York, who had boasted one of the Championship's best defences, showed the Bulls took that in their stride.

“We’ve looked back on our performance and were very pleased with it,” said Kear. “But we’ve also acknowledged we could be better.

“We conceded 18 points so there are obviously areas where we can improve and that might be one of them.

“The players know that, we know that as a coaching staff and we’re working towards that.

“But it felt like coming home. It wasn’t about the pitch but the whole environment, it was just first class and the players absolutely loved it.

“Everyone’s back where they belong and I thought the fans were great as well.

“They really did get behind us and just made it a pleasure to perform in front of them and I think the players responded to that.

“I think it does help (being at Odsal again). But the focus will be very quickly on what threats are posed by Newcastle.

“We’re happy with where we are at but we still know we can go further forward.

“Yes, we are excited as we all should be with where we are in the league and how we’ve played.

“But we’ve also got to stay humble and hard-working and look forward.”

The Bulls' trip to leaders Toulouse scheduled for June 19 has been cancelled following the government's latest announcement that France remains on the "amber" travel list.

The game will not be rearranged as there are no available slots in the season. 

Clubs agreed before the season to base the table on a "points percentage" basis because of the risk of postponements and cancellations.

Teams must play a minimum of 70 per cent of their games to be eligible for the play-offs - with the exception of Toulouse, who are yet to play at home this year.