Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes has cast a positive light on his club’s promotion bid next season, telling Boots ‘n’ All that a top four Championship finish is “slightly easier” than the previous system.
The revamped structure across the top three leagues means the Championship’s top four meet Super League’s bottom quartet in a series of play-offs to determine promotion and relegation, a system that Lowes feels is beneficial.
He told Boots: “I do feel that, rather than one up and one down or two up and two down which it was a few years ago, it’s a slightly easier way of getting back up there with the top four finish.
“The hardest bit is getting in that top four initially and then the second step is another tough call, playing the bottom four Super League clubs who will be fighting themselves for Super League status.”
Bradford’s former hooker and current coach also reflected on the disappointment of the relegation that was confirmed at Huddersfield last Sunday.
“It’s pretty devastating really. I came in and there was still a chance – a little bit of a chance – and I feel that I could have possibly done a little bit more there or possibly prolonged the actual relegation point.
“But it didn’t happen and I couldn’t motivate the boys enough.
“Unfortunately at Huddersfield we got relegated and it’s sad for the club and the fans but the fight will continue.
“I think the club will bounce back eventually. Like most teams in sports you go through massive highs and very low lows.
“We’re at that point now where we can’t really go any further down and our challenge is to get the team ready for what will be a very hard Championship season and eventually get back into Super League and start challenging the big boys again.”
Lowes also remained optimistic about Bradford’s financial woes being eased by boosting their diminishing attendances.
He continued: “We’ve got a really good core of fans and we saw that at Huddersfield on Sunday. And what fans – any fans in any sport – want to see, particularly Bulls fans, is the boys having a go on the field and the coaching staff working extremely hard.
“I think if the fans see that, and a little bit of success on the field, then it will bring more fans in. I’m sure we’ll get back to decent numbers eventually with a little bit of success over the next couple of years.”
His own future, Lowes insisted, was not in doubt as he confirmed his intention to lead Bradford’s promotion attempt.
“We intend to stay full-time and to approach everything we do as a Super League club.
“Hopefully that will see us through what will be a very tough next year but within a couple of years I hope this club is back challenging the top echelon of Super League.”