LIAM Tindall and Jayden Okunbor looked to have made strong seasonal debuts for Bulls on loan from Hull FC last weekend, but head coach Eamon O’Carroll is not a man who is easily pleased.

Many felt the pair stood out on the right edge in the win over Sheffield, but O’Carroll was happier with the job Aidan McGowan and Kieran Gill did on the other side of the field.

Both McGowan and Tom Holmes would prefer to play at full back, but the former produced a stellar display in an unfamiliar wing position against the Eagles.

It would not be overly surprising to see him play there again at Batley tomorrow (1pm kick off), and O’Carroll said: “I thought Aidan handled that decision superbly.

“He was professional about it, even though he was very disappointed not to be selected in his preferred position.

“Aidan delivered out on that left edge against Sheffield and I think that side did a better job and a bigger shift than the guys on the right.

“I don’t think Liam and Jayden did that well defensively and that’s something for us to work on with them.

“With Tom, it was nice to get him back in at full back and he just offers something else, in terms of his profile, to Aidan in there.”

It has felt almost as if Bulls have been on an upward trajectory ever since their win at Batley last August.

With Lee Gaskell and Jordan Lilley paired together for the first time in the halves, they battered the Bulldogs 42-6, straight off the back of two dreadful defeats to Widnes and Barrow.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bulls instantly looked a better team last year once Lee Gaskell and Jordan Lilley joined forces in the halves.Bulls instantly looked a better team last year once Lee Gaskell and Jordan Lilley joined forces in the halves. (Image: Tom Pearson.)

It felt like a turning point, but ahead of Bradford’s return to Mount Pleasant, O’Carroll warned: “I don’t think I need to reference last year’s result there, the bigger focus is that we want to perform in a way that backs up the win over Sheffield.

“We’ve beaten some top teams (like Featherstone and Toulouse), then not replicated that in the following game (York).

“I was pleased we backed up what we showed against Wakefield in the 1895 Cup semi-final in the win over Sheffield, but to me it doesn’t matter if our next game is against Leeds, Huddersfield, Batley or whoever, we have to approach it in the right way, week in, week out.

“Batley played well in their last home game, where they beat York, and they were competitive against Wakefield last month.

“That was a close game, and they are playing well, they’re just not getting the results.

“We’re going to have to be very good to beat them but focus on what we can control.

“That means not thinking or worrying about where we’re playing, so the slope at Batley won’t even be mentioned in our team talk for the game.”

That being said, usually the team playing uphill in each half has to do more defending, and O’Carroll won’t want that to be too deep.

He was critical of the amount of tryline defence Bulls were forced into against Sheffield, and asked how he planned to avoid that at Batley, he said: “There was an element of concentration lacking last Sunday.

“We made 14 errors, starting with coughing the ball up in our first set.

“We have to show discipline when it comes to possession of the ball and not concede needless penalties in dangerous areas.

“There were a few 50-50 situations too, where we cleared up initially then immediately handed Sheffield possession back cheaply.

“Let’s focus on trying to cut all that out at training.”