John Kear paid tribute to axed Bradford boss Francis Cummins and says he’ll be better coach for his experience with the Bulls.
Despite having to cope with severe financial problems off the field and seeing a number of his top players sold to pay off debts, Cummins had steered Bradford to four Super League wins this season and, but for a six point deduction for going into administration, the club would be one point away from escaping the relegation zone.
However, just hours after Sunday’s 48-16 thrashing at Salford, Cummins was sacked by the Bulls and captain Matt Diskin placed in charge for Friday’s crunch clash with Hull KR.
With an unenviable run of fixtures on the way, Kear told Boots ‘n’ All he was disappointed by the decision – but insisted Cummins will have profited from his time at Provident Stadium.
“I was very shocked, especially when you see the fixtures coming up,” he said.
“It would be very difficult, with all the circumstances he’s had [for anyone to do better]. But the experience he’s had will stand him in good stead for the future. He’ll be really mentally tough in that next coaching job he gets.
“Four wins would take them to eight points normally and that’s what’s irking the club and they’re trying to get those points back. But that isn’t Francis’ fault. And it wasn’t his fault a lot of the players had to be sold to keep the club going. It wasn’t his fault they went into administration. And it certainly wasn’t his fault that he had to work for nothing.
“He’s a dignified, respectful person and he’s conducted himself in that way throughout and that’s great credit to him.”
Sky Sports pundit Paul Cullen was equally frustrated by the sacking and says Cummins has been unable to show his true credentials as a boss, due to the restrictions he’s had to deal with.
“I for one would have liked to have seen Francis Cummins having facilities and players available to him, being given a fighting chance and cut the ropes that he’s had tying his hands behind his back for the past two years,” he said.
“He’s almost been on missionary duty in Bradford, trying to get a team together to fulfil their fixture list. That’s been the unlevel playing field in which he’s had to work.
“But that’s their decision, he’s gone and now we sit back and see what Bradford can do towards to the end of this season.”