ADMITTING tomorrow’s clash with York City Knights is a ‘big game’ for the club’s play-off ambitions – head coach John Kear is targeting a return to the ‘pre-Swinton’ form that left him delighted as he returns to where he made his managerial debut at the Bradford Bulls.

Wins over Halifax RLFC, Widnes Vikings and Toulouse Olympique preceded Sunday’s thrilling 34-34 draw with Stuart Littler’s Lions.

Despite closing the gap on the play-off places, Bulls boss Kear believes this weekend’s fixture is bigger for his side than the second-placed City Knights.

And with a large crowd expected to descend on Bootham Crescent, a strong defensive display is the only way the spoils can be secured on Sunday.

Kear said: “York have not surprised me – I spoke to James Ford on Boxing Day and I was confident they would do well, as I was we would too.

“That has been demonstrated with the how the results have fallen and where both sides sit in the league ladder.

“Sunday it will come down to the 17 players who front up on the pitch, the team that adapts the best and copes with the pressure on the day.

“It is a big game no doubt about it, probably bigger for us than it is York, they have a bit of a cushion being four points ahead of us.

“We need to get back to where we were before Swinton as I was delighted but we need to get that consistency back.

“We have to be on point defensively and go back to those standards we set, we are aware it is a special day, an important game and hopefully we can produce a performance that befits the occasion.”