Bradford coach Francis Cummins remains bullish as pressure builds on lowly rivals

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The Independent Online

Bradford coach Francis Cummins senses his team's ailing fortunes could be about to change as clubs reach the halfway mark in Super League.

The Bulls remain deep in relegation trouble, eight points adrift of third-bottom Wakefield, as they prepare to face Catalan Dragons in Perpignan this afternoon.

The Yorkshire club are still hoping to claw back some, if not all, of the six points they were docked for going into administration when their appeal is heard on Wednesday week, but Cummins believes there is cause for renewed optimism on the pitch.

After playing Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, St Helens and Huddersfield in their last five matches, their next set of fixtures are considerably less daunting, with today's game in France followed by Wakefield and Salford, the two clubs just above them in the table.

The Red Devils have been drawn into the relegation fight after failing to win any of their last six league matches and Cummins believes a win over the Dragons could spark "twitchy bum" time at several of Bradford's rivals.

"There's a few nervous clubs now, which is good," he said, "get some pressure on other people for a change. We're pretty much used to it.

"There's a few clubs there who have spent a lot of money and it's not happening for them at the moment. There's a lot of pressure on them to perform because we're going to get some wins."

Reinforcements have also provided cause for optimism. They went into last Sunday's game against Huddersfield with just one specialist prop but will have another three against the Catalans.

Manase Manuokafoa has recovered from injury, Antonio Kaufusi is back after being unable to face his parent club and Jordan Baldwinson is set to make his debut after joining the club from New Zealand Warriors.