MATTY Garside is not taking anything for granted as he makes the most of a regular run in the Bulls team.

The second-rower has nailed down a spot in John Kear’s plans after starting the last four games in the late push for a play-off place.

Garside is one of the unsung heroes in the revival of form which has given the Bulls a real chance of reaching the Championship top five with seven games left.

The 28-year-old is giving himself the best chance of earning a new contract, which runs out at the end of the season.

But a period out of the picture in mid-season taught him that there can be no letting up.

Garside said: “I went through a difficult spell of not playing for around two months.

“I obviously played for the reserves a few times but it’s not nice to be in that position.

“It’s a difficult place to be and not one that I’d found myself in before.

“It was different for me but you just have to keep your head down, work hard in training and show what you can do when you get that opportunity.

“That’s what I tried to do for the reserves and then I got my shot again with the first team.

“I had to bide my time and wait for my shot. Now I’ve played four games in a row, I just want to get more under my belt and keep working hard for the rest of the season.

“I’ve got to keep doing it week in, week out now to hopefully stay in there.”

Garside, who joined the Bulls in September 2017 from London Broncos, featured frequently in the League One promotion campaign.

But he has found opportunities harder to come by this term – until being recalled for last month’s 52-20 loss at Leigh.

That heavy setback led to some clear-the-air conversations within the squad and the impact has been clear with wins over Halifax, Widnes and then Toulouse.

Garside added: “We had a long team meeting a couple of weeks ago. It’s probably no secret that we were in the room for a good hour.

“We got a lot of home truths out and decided that it was time for people to stand up and be counted.

“I think we’ve shown that with the performances since. There is a real fight for positions because we’ve got a good squad, so you’re having to work really hard to stay in the team.

“Everyone wants to work for the guy either side of them and you can see that in the last few weeks.”

Garside has hailed the consistent efforts of Connor Farrell, who has been acknowledged as the heart beat of the team.

“If you look across the board at different teams, that’s the back row for you.

“His stats each week are really good with 40-50 tackles and 20 carries. He does that week in, week out.

“He gets on with the job and is a big player for us.”

Full back Brandon Pickersgill is another whose game has picked up since his recall after a spell on the sidelines.

“When you go a month or two not playing, there is a hunger inside you,” said Garside. “Brandon has been brilliant since coming back.

“It’s quite easy to get comfortable playing every week. Then you have a couple of games out and you want to prove to yourself you’ve still got it.

“It’s the business end of the season and every game feels like a Grand Final. But keep playing as we are and we’ll be where we want to be.”