Bradford not struggling to cope with points deduction, says Mendeika

Bradford centre James Mendeika believes the Bulls squad are not finding it difficult to handle the pressure of their 12 point deduction.

The Bulls return to Odsal for the first time since the previous club’s liquidation on Sunday when they take on current Championship leaders Rochdale Hornets.

After going down to heavily-fancied Hull Kingston Rovers last week, the Bulls have their first real opportunity to start cutting the deficit between themselves and their Championship counterparts on Sunday, with the club needing to win at least six more matches than any two rival clubs to avoid relegation.

Despite the added pressure on the squad, Mendeika insists that it is serving as added motivation for the squad.

“I don’t think anyone is finding it daunting,” he told TotalRL.

“We know it’s a challenge we have to beat. It’s a barrier put in front of us rightly or wrongly, but it’s just another hurdle for us to overcome. We’d obviously prefer to start with zero points, but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. No matter what complaining we do we have to grin and bear it and use it as motivation.”

Inevitably, Bradford’s form at Odsal will be a defining factor in their battle to avoid relegation to League 1, and Mendeika is alert to the fact that the Bulls have to ensure they pick up as many points as possible on home ground if they are to climb up the table.

“I think you’ve got to be picking up as many points as you can at home and make Odsal a fortress. It has to be a place for other teams to really struggle to get points. We want a good start at home and start clawing back those points.

“You’d say it’s an easier game, and then they put 40 points up a Dewsbury team that has been hard to beat. We’ve looked at some of their footage last week and put a plan together to do a job on them and get a first win back at Odsal.”

Meanwhile, Mendeika revealed that he could have joined the Hornets in the off-season following Bradford’s relegation, but opted to stay at the Bulls.

“They are a local club to me. They train at Warrington where I live now. There was interest there but it was mainly about waiting to see if something at Bradford happened and if there was I was staying. I had to wait to see what Bradford had to put on the table, it proved to be a good deal for me and the club so everyone is happy.”