GEORGE Flanagan has urged Bulls’ supporters to stick with them following their 58-12 thrashing at Featherstone on Monday evening.

Mark Dunning's side were subject to an outburst of criticism from Bradford's fan base on social media after the fixture, but Flanagan admitted he and his teammates need their loyal support more than ever as the Bulls prepare for another challenging game against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday.

He said: "I've played for Bradford for around six seasons now and the pressure is always there; you always have people slating you on social media. One week you're Billy Slater (former Australian rugby league player) and the next week you're seen as an amateur player. But, it does come as part and parcel of the game.

"As a player you have to remain professional and remain focused on the job in hand. As a club, we know what job we've got to do and I'm sure come the end of the season there will be a lot more happier fans. It's massive this week that the fans continue to get behind us, especially after a defeat like Monday's, and then we can continue to look forward."

Flanagan added: "If you go to any club, they've all got a fan base and that fan base will always want to see the club doing well, but there are times when it doesn't go to plan.

"There's an old saying which states that tough times don't last but tough people do, and I think that's the old cliche which we need to be using at the moment. We are going through a tough period, we are in the league position where we are but we need to take it on the chin and remain focused.

"Hopefully, when we start to put a few wins together, which I'm confident we will do, the fans will start to be on board again. But like I say, it's part and parcel of the game and we know what the expectations are at a club like Bradford, who are still one of the biggest in the world. We will do our very best to put it right."

Bradford will have the chance to put Monday's defeat behind them when they take on Sheffield on Sunday away from home, another side who will be expecting to be amongst the play-off spots come the end of the season.

Looking ahead to the fixture, Flanagan said: "Sheffield are a play-off rival, so it will give us a good chance to bounce back from Monday. We did play them at Odsal earlier on in the season and they gave us a bit of a lesson.

"But I think it's going to be a different contest this week because I believe we've improved since the first fixture. We have been growing in confidence, but did suffer that heavy defeat on Monday, so it's now about knuckling down and working hard in training.

"We know we need to be beating the teams around us to stand any chance of making the top six this season, so this weekend is the start of that."