KEIGHLEY Cougars head coach Craig Lingard has targeted a maximum points haul from his side's next three Betfred League One games as they look to bounce back after defeat.

Cougar Park proved a happy hunting ground for fourth-placed Whitehaven last weekend as Lingard's men crashed to a 30-24 reverse. This was their fourth defeat from their opening eight matches.

But Cougars will instead be hoping for home comforts when they entertain third-from-bottom Coventry Bears on Sunday (ko 3pm) after they slip down the league's pecking order.

Cougars' inferior points difference has seen them slip down to eighth in the table with eight points in a congested mid-table. They are one of five teams on the same points, a list which also includes Newcastle Thunder, Workington Town, Oldham and Hunslet.

Lingard wants his team to stay focused in matches and has demanded wins from their next three games; against Coventry Bears, at North Wales Crusaders on May 20 and at home to London Skolars seven days later.

He hopes a maximum six-point haul from these three contests will give them momentum for when they travel to third-placed Doncaster on Sunday, June 10.

But he says despite playing one of League One's strugglers, Lingard does not expect anything close to a repeat of leaders York City Knights' 144-0 hammering of bottom side West Wales Raiders last Sunday.

Lingard said: "Coventry Bears are not in the same ballpark as West Wales Raiders. They have some good young players. They will be well-drilled.

"They are a team we should be beating, but no-one should be expecting us to score 50 or 60 points. We have got to be patient and grind one out.

"There will be no excuses for us if we don't win against Coventry.

"We have spoken about going through the season and looking at the teams like us who are looking at the top five and picking up points from them, especially at home. That is another reason why the Whitehaven result was disappointing.

"We have gone from being joint second top to joining a congested group of teams in the middle of the table.

"The Whitehaven game was a big one for us, it was really a four-point game. They handled the situation better than we did. The character was there for us though.

"We need to have more focus in games. We need to start a bit better too.

"We are starting from square one and trying to build momentum. The Doncaster game is the next time we play against a top end team. We had targeted five successive wins but that has gone after we lost to Whitehaven. We have to go again now."

Ahead of Bears' visit, Cougars squad has suffered a couple of injury setbacks.

Prop forward Darrell Griffin will not feature against Coventry after concerns over one of his quads and will be rested. Centre Hamish Barnes will see a specialist tomorrow over a shoulder fracture to determine if he needs to have an operation and possibly face time on the sidelines.

Lingard added: "Some weeks of a season you are going to go without any injuries, while others you might get injuries to two, three or four players.

"We will give Darrell a rest now as it is a long season, so it will be good to do that."

Meanwhile, Michael Mannifield (Huddersfield) will officiate this weekend's clash against Coventry.