JOHN Kear insists the Bulls will remain realistic as they look to extend their winning start in the Championship.

His side returned to the second tier by edging Featherstone 17-16 at Odsal – and will be expected to back that up with another victory at Swinton tomorrow.

The Lions, who narrowly avoided the drop last year, are still reeling from the serious injury to forward Will Hope – and lengthy wait before he could get to hospital – that marred their opening-day loss to Sheffield.

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Beating Fev has further boosted the feel-good factor surrounding the Bulls since their promotion. But Kear stressed that none of his squad will get carried away.

“To win the first game of the season, especially at home, was positive,” he said. “It made it especially sweet for us because it was against a team who will be in and amongst it, as we hope to be.

“But we’ve got to realise it’s only one game and two points.

“We’re fully aware that it will be (close) like that more often than not throughout the season. But we’re quite comfortable with that and looking forward to the week-to-week challenge.”

Bradford have won their last five away meetings with Swinton, most recently with a 30-16 success in the Championship Shield in August 2017. Their last defeat was at the long-gone Station Road in December 1985.

The Bulls should make it two out of two for the new campaign tomorrow but Kear anticipates fired-up opposition.

He added: “It has been a struggle for Swinton and the injury (to Hope) won’t have helped them as well with the performance last week.

“They will find it difficult and we’ll be favourites. But Stuart Littler knows what he’s doing and I believe they’ll have some Wigan dual-reg players with them as well.

“They’ve also just signed Jamie Acton so we’ve got to be fully aware that it’s going to be a tough old game.”

Kear reported a clean bill of health from the first-day win – and was impressed with how well the players coped in treacherous conditions at Odsal.

“I don’t think everybody realised how difficult it was. It was raining throughout and the pitch was hard with about the top three inches thawed – it was like a skating rink.

“For the two teams to produce such an enthralling contest was a credit to them both.

“The ground staff did a marvellous job to get the pitch playable and they deserve credit as well.”

Joe Keyes, Ashley Gibson and Callum Bustin have been pencilled in to play for the reserves at Hunslet next weekend. The Bulls have a short week with the trip to Sheffield on the Friday night.

Kear added: “We’ll pick a team to go to Swinton, play well and hopefully win. We’re not thinking beyond that.

“We’ve got a big enough squad to make changes after the game if we need to.”