Cummins braced for crucial week
Bradford coach Francis Cummins remains focused as they reach a nerve-shredding and potentially defining week in their relegation battle.
First the Bulls - eight points adrift of safety at the bottom end of the First Utility Super League - face the side immediately above them, Wakefield, in a crunch clash on Sunday.
Attention will then switch from the players to the people upstairs as the club have their appeal against their six-point deduction for entering administration heard next week.
Victory over the Wildcats and then even just a partial reinstatement of points could give the Bulls hope of pulling out of the bottom two.
But defeat on both counts could prove crushing and leave Bradford, four times winners of the competition between 1997 and 2005, contemplating a future outside Super League.
Cummins said: "It is important and it is exciting to be (involved) in a game that is important.
"But when we went to Wakefield last time they had just announced the points (deduction) and I said to the lads they weren't going to get relegated if they lost.
"I said just stick to the process - and they did, and they were very good that night.
"That is what we have got to do, stick to the process and don't worry about outcomes. That is when you start making mistakes.
"The coaching staff haven't talked about the end of this game and one thing I have learnt is not to use any emotion on things I can't control.
"What happens next week is not in my control. Don't get me wrong, I have got everything crossed and want it to go in our favour - but it is out of my control.
"I have to make sure my performance and the players' performances are there on Sunday."
The Bulls have won three games this season, cancelling out their penalty, but have lost their last three heavily to St Helens, Huddersfield and Catalan Dragons.
Cummins insists there has been no easing up to prioritise the critical Wakefield fixture at the Provident Stadium.
Cummins said: "There has been no softening up of what we have been doing waiting for this one.
"There is no doubt we knew it was round the corner but we have to believe we can win every game."
The Bulls - who are conceding, on average, more than 39 points per game - have been hampered by injuries but captain Matt Diskin, Matty Blythe, Dale Ferguson, Jamal Fakir and Chev Walker are back in contention.
Cummins said: "To see the handful of lads back training full-on with us has been good.
"It is what we have needed. It's given a lift to the boys."
The match could also be portrayed as a grudge match with Wakefield chairman Michael Carter having expressed anger that Bradford could have points restored.
Wakefield sold a host of players and Carter put up his house as security to ease club debts and avoid administration last winter.
Among the playing squad, however, the mood appears more relaxed. With the London Broncos also being well adrift, the Wildcats do have some breathing space.
Wildcats coach Richard Agar said: "I don't see it as the 'Survival Sunday' most people think it is going to be.
"If we win the game it obviously puts us in a very healthy spot, but if we don't get the win we don't feel it is terminal or there is no way back.
"There is a little bit of talk coming from Bradford that it is do or die, must-win for them, season over if not. We don't feel like we are in that position.
"For me it is too early to start comparing it with a £1million relegation game. Quite simply it is not."
Sunday's other game sees third-placed Castleford, one of the season's brighter stories, hosting Hull KR.
Both sides are seeking a third successive win with the Tigers looking to move within a point of second-placed Leeds and Rovers seeking to climb back into the top eight.
Robins coach Craig Sandercock said: "It's a big game, no doubt about it. Cas have played really well this year and they're very hard to beat at home.
"We've got to play like Cas do by getting through our sets and kicking well. If we do that, I'm sure it will be a good game."