BULLS are now beyond the halfway point of the regular season, and interim boss Mark Dunning knows it is time for them to step things up.

He admitted too that he had spoken to Bulls chairman Nigel Wood and CEO Jason Hirst, but that he would not be revealing what was said.

Bulls have won eight and lost seven of their opening 15 Championship fixtures, and currently sit three points off the play-offs, with Dunning saying: “I think everybody connected with the club knows we’re not where we want to be.

“The ethos of all of us at the club was to be in that top six at this stage, and at least pushing that top two (of Leigh and Featherstone), who are far ahead of the rest of us.

“We had that aspiration of being in and around the play-offs and challenging higher up, but we’ve shown signs of improvement of late and I feel we’re on our way.”

Bulls have four players in action for Wales tomorrow, but asked if they could have done with another week off, Dunning insisted: “We really encourage anybody who gets picked for internationals.

“It can only be a good thing having these matches, helping the international game grow, and we have a duty to back it.

“Not everybody in the group is off this week anyway, as some are coming in for rehab and recuperation.”

The Bulls players seemed to enjoy their boxing session on Tuesday with Holme Wood welterweight Darren Tetley, before most of them went off on a week’s break.

But Dunning insisted: “It was no reward, as it was a tough, gruelling session with no rugby ball in sight.

“I know Darren well, and he’s a fellow Bradfordian who cares about the club and wants to help.

“All clubs look to freshen things up and offer alternatives in training throughout the season anyway.”

Asked if there had been any updates on his position, Dunning said: “The club are continuing their process and I have spoken to Nigel and Jason, but what was said will stay private.

“I’ve just got to continue doing my job for now and execute game plans for Dewsbury.”

One player Dunning hopes Bulls will have available for that clash is on-loan full-back Brandon Pickersgill, who went off with an injured back last time out at Sheffield.

Dunning said: “It’s not as bad as when it happened to him last time.

“There’s just been a tightening of muscles at the bottom of his back at the point of contact, as it was a heavy knee he took.

“But it is just a locking up of a muscles, and we are still hopeful of him being able to play against Dewsbury.”