BRADFORD Bulls’ half-back crisis is worsening by the day, and it remains to be seen how head coach Mark Dunning aims to resolve it.

Jordan Lilley (ankle) and Billy Jowitt (shoulder) both have worse injuries than first feared and, following this weekend's clash against Workington, Dec Patton could be banned for up to eight games after being charged by the RFL’s Match Review Panel with gouging during the defeat to Halifax last Saturday.

Speaking before the Patton news was announced, Dunning was asked whether he would be putting faith in young halves Myles Lawford and Lewis Camden, or playing the likes of Elliot Kear out of position in there.

He said: “I know which direction I’m going in with the halves for this weekend at least, but I’m not going to do (Workington head coach) Chris Thorman’s homework for him.

“We’re low on available numbers in the first-team, so that’s going to create an opportunity in the coming weeks for some of our younger blokes anyway.

“Billy won’t be back before the end of the season.

“He dislocated his shoulder while playing for the reserves against Huddersfield, and although our staff have worked hard to get him back for the last few games, he’ll be out beyond the end of the season.

“We’re still waiting for 100 per cent confirmation on what’s wrong with Jordan’s ankle, but let’s just say it’s not looking brilliant for him.”

Kear insisted earlier this week that playing rock-bottom Workington was a good chance to get back on the horse.

Dunning said: “Any game is an opportunity to get back on the horse, but we’ll not be underestimating Workington.

“We’ve been in a similar position to what they’re going through right now as a club, so we know what that’s like.

“Workington will get the same respect as all the teams we play and we’ll do our due diligence on them, but really it’s about concentrating on ourselves.”

Bulls’ attendances at Odsal have been poor this season, with unimpressive results no doubt a factor.

Asked if the answer to putting a stop to the unrest among much of the fanbase was about more than just winning games, Dunning said: “There are lots of contributing factors to that disillusion.

“Everyone at the club has a responsibility to try and fix that.”

As for fixing things on the pitch, Dunning said: “One of the underlying things from last weekend was how Halifax capitalised on every opportunity we gave them, and we didn’t take our chances.

“Going forward, it’s about nullifying those opportunities that we’re giving away to the opposition, and showing more conviction with our own chances.”