INTERIM Bulls head coach Mark Dunning has admitted he will be glad to have Jordan Lilley back in the fold this weekend at home to Dewsbury.

The scrum-half missed the previous game at Sheffield due to his brother’s wedding, and though Bulls won well, that doesn’t mean Lilley was forgotten about.

Dunning said: “We miss Jordan very much when he’s not there, because he’s integral to what we do.

“He’s been here for years, he’s one of our leadership group, and he carries the right standards and behaviours with him.

“Corey Johnson did a sterling job when replacing him at Sheffield, but unfortunately he got a shoulder injury that will put him out for a couple of weeks.

“We’ll happily use him again though once he’s fit and if Leeds let us.”

Leeds also lent Bulls Alex Mellor for the Sheffield game, but he will not be available again after moving to Castleford on a permanent deal earlier this week.

Dunning laughed: “He almost did too good a job for us at Sheffield.

“But no, it’s great for him, and it was never going to be a long-term thing for him at Bulls, given where he’s at and where we’re at as a team.

“It was great to have his experience and stature in the dressing room, even if it was only for one game.

“We wish him well at Cas now and hope he has success there.”

Brandon Pickersgill also came in to face Sheffield, but the chance to extend his loan from Featherstone has been taken out of Bulls’ hands for now.

Dunning admitted: “We’re working on things behind the scenes with Brandon, but the back injury he got against Sheffield was worse than we thought, and wasn’t just muscle tightness, so he’ll be out for a few weeks.

“When he’s fit we’ll have further discussions with Featherstone over him.”

One player who could make a return this weekend is joint vice-captain Rhys Evans, who has not featured since early March.

Dunning said: “Rhys has had some medical problems, but he’s through the worst of them now, and he could feature this weekend, or at least in the coming weeks.

“We’re pleased with how he’s recovered.”

The break between games has been well-timed for Dunning and Bulls, as he said: “It’s definitely helped us with fitness.

“Not everyone had the week off, some were in for recovery and rehab and have done a bit more work since then.

“Fingers crossed we’ll have some back playing this weekend, whether that’s with the reserves on Saturday or the first team on Sunday.”

Bulls are at home to Dewsbury on Sunday, having thumped them in the reverse fixture on the opening day.

But Dunning won’t allow his team to get complacent, saying: “There are absolutely no easy games in rugby league and no-one in our camp expects it to be so.

“They’ll be revitalised under a new head coach in Liam Finn, they’ll have a point to prove to him, it’s a derby and they’ll be desperate for points given where they are in the table.

“I’ve got to make sure my players are as desperate or more desperate than theirs.”

It has been over a month since Bulls played at Odsal, and Dunning said: “It’s always good to be home.

“It’s been well-documented that our form at Odsal is not what we’ve wanted but the boys and the staff have been working hard and hopefully we can get back in front of our fans, put on a show and get the two points.”

Bulls have won three of their last four games, but asked if momentum may have been lost after a two-week break, Dunning said: “Sometimes it’s hard to gauge.

“But we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and look to put another run together now.

“We’ve got tough fixtures coming up, but we’ll refocus and move on to that next block.”

But will Dunning be in charge for all of that next block?

Asked if it has been hard focusing on trying to become the club’s permanent head coach while also concentrating on the team’s performances, Dunning said: “I think it’s been balanced adequately.

“I’ve focused on the job and the performances and holistically we’ve seen improvements throughout the club as the season has gone on, at reserve and academy level too.

“We’ve not just focused on matters on the field, the staff and players have worked hard, and it’s been a pleasure to have been a part of over the last six weeks.”