JOHN Kear insists he was right to shuffle the pack for the Challenge Cup as the Bulls revert to business as usual this weekend.

There were seven changes in the Bradford side that narrowly avoided fourth-round embarrassment against Keighley.

The squad to face Dewsbury at Odsal on Sunday will see the bulk of those return – as well as fit-again Jordan Lilley.

READ MORE: Bulls' attitude "stank" at Keighley

Kear made his feelings clear about last week's shoddy display against their League One neighbours as the Bulls edged through to book a home clash with Featherstone a week on Sunday.

But he stands by the decision to switch things round and give several regulars a breather.

He said: “I’m positive it was the right call. We’ve gone into the next round, looked at different combinations and rested certain players.

“People don’t realise what’s going on behind the scenes with some of these players.

“Connor Farrell is a good example. He’s played consistently well for us but every game he plays, he does 40 plus tackles and makes 20 plus carries.

“That takes its toll over the course of the season. So, having looked at his workload, and the distances he covers in matches and in training, we just felt it was time to give him the weekend off from the hurly-burly of a competitive game.

“It was a chance for him to recharge his batteries for the next weekend – and you could multiply that for Liam Kirk, Mikey Wood, Rhys Evans. That’s the reason we took those decisions.

“Yes, we wanted to win and progress. But we also look at the big picture with an Easter weekend coming up and the travel logistics of a trip to Toronto looming on the horizon.

“We’ll be judged by how we’ve done over the season, not simply in one game.

“You could say we got away with it and we did. But if you win a cup game by 101-0 or 1-0, you’re in the next round.”

Lilley is “95 per cent” certain to be back in the Bulls ranks after finally getting over the dead leg that has troubled him since Batley. But there are fewer selection headaches for Kear than he had hoped for in the light of the Cougar Park performance.

The coach admitted: “The challenge I told the lads coming in was that I wanted to have a difficult challenge picking a team for this week.

“Unfortunately, they didn’t make my job that difficult and that might be an opportunity missed for them.

“On the other hand, I thought George Flanagan had his best game of the season.

“Callum Bustin showed further progress in getting more minutes under his belt and Evan Hodgson lit us up with his enthusiasm in the second half.

“Some people did themselves some good but others not so. We’ll have to look at that in the fullness of the season.

“But I still think we’ve got a quality squad and the vast majority will play a really important role at some stage.”