CONNOR Farrell will avoid speaking to his Featherstone Rovers pals in the run-up to their crucial tie this weekend.

Bradford Bulls come into the game having lost their last two league matches and have drifted into seventh in the table.

Kear's men had a big opportunity to strengthen their promotion credentials at the Summer Bash in Blackpool against Halifax.

But they were edged out 21-14 by a side who they'll face in the quarter-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup next weekend after the Bulls heroics against the Rhinos took them through.

Farrell is seeking retribution, but has his eye on more immediate matters.

He said: "We owe them one now.

"We need to win that one, but more importantly we go into this week and it's a must-win now.

"The top five this year is going to be really tight, so we've dropped points but we need to pick some up this week."

The forward signed from Bradford's upcoming opponents Fev ahead of this season and said he still has a lot of friends there.

Farrell added: "I'm really close with them all.

"I speak to a couple of them, but I might not speak to them in the week."

Featherstone themselves are charging forward in the race for promotion, winning their last three league matches to take them level on points with the Bulls and into sixth.

Their winning form includes a comprehensive demolishing of York in their Summer Bash fixture.

Farrell got chance to catch that match before Bulls' evening fixture and admits he's looking forward to coming up against his old side.

He said: "I watched them before and they're looking really good at the moment so it's going to be a tough task.

"They've always had good, strong forwards, but when they've got Chissy (Dane Chisholm) and Tom Holmes in there now, they're looking really good, really slick.

"So, we'll have to be on our A-game."

The Bulls will have to contest the infamous "slope" at Fev's Post Office Road ground. But, Farrell is confident in his side's ability.

He said: "It's as hard as you make it.

"It can be to your own advantage or your worst enemy.

"We're turning into a really good team.

"We started slow this season, but week-in week-out we're proving ourselves.

"We've got a great team spirit and we never give up and were still going with ten minutes left against Halifax."