Despite going close in a tight game with promotion rivals Featherstone Rovers, new Bradford Bulls head coach Eamon O’Carroll has explained that the side “still have a lot of work to do” ahead of the 2024 campaign.
The Bulls were in action for the second time this pre-season having previously won on Christmas Eve against another Championship rival in Halifax Panthers.
It wasn’t to be two wins from two for new head coach O’Carroll though as his young Bulls side lost 16-12 at the Millennium Stadium against last season’s Championship League Leaders Shield winners.
With the 1895 Cup starting at the end of the month ahead of a March launch for the Championship, the ex-Catalans youth coach claims there’s still plenty to do for his team.
Speaking to BullsTV, he stated: “It’s still very early days. Like I said, I can only speak about what we’re doing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.
“I’ve said it before, I’m very happy with where we’re at at the current moment but it’s probably not going to be good enough for us going into the start of the season when we’re in fully competitive games.
“I’m really glad we got the hit out today and get a lot of learnings from that. I look forward to watching it back and then we’ve got a good week’s training in front of us. So yeah, still plenty to do, but happy with where we’re at.”
Despite his assessment that there is still plenty to do he seemed to be happy with the performance on the whole, particularly praising the effort of his side.
“I’m happy, I think the game gave us everything that we needed, it was really important for us to look at some things from the Halifax game and try and improve on them and I thought we did,” O’Carroll noted.
“Ultimately I thought the effort was outstanding from everyone throughout the squad and everyone came through the game as well which is really important to me. I’m stood here and I’m a happy man.
“It was all effort first and foremost. We spoke about just where we wanted to start some of our defensive sets and I thought we did that very well throughout the first half certainly. Those are the most impressive signs I would give you now, but still plenty to work on.”
The Bulls play next week against Super League opposition as they welcome Hull FC to Odsal for another tough test.
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