JOHN Kear insists it will be “desperation” time for both teams when the Bulls trek to relegation-threatened Barrow.

His team have to win their final four games to have any chance of bridging the five-point gap to the final play-off spot.

But the Raiders have an equally urgent need for a victory in their fight to stay in the Championship.

Barrow are currently second-from-bottom, three points behind Widnes, and looking odds on to follow Rochdale into League One.

Kear said: “Just as we’re running out of games for the play-offs, they are running out of them to stay in the division.

“They’ll be a desperate team and we’ve got to be equally as desperate to come away with anything.”

Barrow have lost five on the bounce but ran York very close last week. Their four wins this season also include a 38-16 shock at Featherstone – a result which will ensure the Bulls are on their toes.

“We’ve watched their last three games and they certainly challenge,” added Kear.

“The game I remember most, though, is when they went to Featherstone and won. Believe you me, as we know, that takes some doing.

“They’ve got it in their locker and we’re aware of that. It’s my job to make sure we’re prepared to snuff out any threats and exploit any perceived weaknesses.”

After three games without a win has dropped them down to seventh, time is fast running out for the Bulls to sneak back in to play-off consideration.

But Kear is confident there will be no hangover after going so close against runaway leaders Toronto last week.

“I like to think we are pretty honest with ourselves as a playing and performance group and it’s obviously less likely (reaching the play-offs) than it was before the Swinton game.

“We’ve got to accept that and it’s down to us.

“But look at the last four games –we win by two, then a draw, we lose by one and then by five. That’s how close we’ve been against quality opposition.

“It is heartening and we’ll roll our sleeves up and turn up and have a dig."

The Bulls looked set to inflict the Wolfpack's second defeat of the season when they led by 14 at half-time - only to concede three tries in an 11-minute blitz after the restart.

"It was if we sat back and expected them to come back at us," admitted Kear. "What we should have done is gone out there with a foot on the throttle straight away and tried to go further away from them.

“Anybody would be disappointed to lose when you’ve invested the energy they did. The ball was in play a hell of a lot."