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Potter backing former club
Simmons hopes to have hooker Roby back for clash with Rhinos
We're getting through it. I want the other guys back as quickly as they can but we're going all right at the moment so it's not a concern.
Quotes of the week
Bradford coach Mick Potter still believes former club St Helens will be "there or thereabouts" this season despite suffering their worst start in 23 years.
Saints suffered their fourth straight Super League reverse when they went down 12-8 to the Bulls on Saturday evening, meaning they currently sit outside the top eight in the table wth just five points from seven outings.
They next face Leeds in a repeat of last year's Grand Final but under pressure coach Royce Simmons has been offered some words of comfort by his opposite number.
Potter, who was in charge at Saints from 2009-10, insists it would be foolish to suggest Saints can't reach Old Trafford for a seventh successive year.
"I feel for them," he said. "They're having a tough run at the moment but anyone who writes St Helens off in March does so at their own peril.
"They've had average starts for quite a number of years. I think they will be there or thereabouts. I don't think getting in the eight will be a problem for them and that's all you need. If you're in the eight, you're a chance of winning it."
As for his current team, the Bulls boss was simply delighted to collect a first home win of the season, to go with their three away victories, which enabled them to consolidate a spot in the play-off positions.
"It's good the fans have got something to cheer about at home," said Potter. "The game was probably not a spectacle but it was good for us to win.
"I think our defence has been reasonably solid - it's an area where we've done really well considering where we were last year - but we need to spend some more time on our attack.
"The players have been getting better. It was a resilient win but I think we can play better."
The home team had no less than nine players missing through injury and suspension, leaving Potter full of praise for the strength of his squad.
"We've had some adversity but I think every team has injuries," he added. "It's part and parcel of rugby league, being a collision sport.
"We're getting through it. I want the other guys back as quickly as they can but we're going all right at the moment so it's not a concern."
Simmons, who hopes to have England hooker James Roby back for the game against the Rhinos next Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports, pinpointed individual errors as the reason for his team's latest reverse.
"As a team we're trying really hard but individual errors are taking the game away from us," he said.
"There was some real good effort. I thought defensively we were very strong. They scored from two kicks, which they're very good at, and there was a 10-minute sin-binning where we defended very strongly too.
"But attacking-wise we didn't stay composed. We tended to make some errors that you don't expect, particularly individual errors that were pretty crucial to the end result.
"It puts a lot of pressure on you when you don't find touch from a penalty."
Simmons had some sympathy for winger Jamie Foster, who conceded a penalty that turned Bradford's first score into an eight-point try. He was also badly at fault for the Bulls' second and was later sin-binned for interference.
"He's one of our younger boys who hit the scene last year when they tasted a pretty consistent run," the Australian added. "This is the first time they've been going through this so it's a real learning curve for those blokes.""
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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