Sacked Bradford Bulls coach Francis Cummins says it could be harder than ever for his former club to win promotion back to Super League.
Cummins, 37, is continuing to look for a new post after being axed at Odsal last month when the financially-crippled club was marooned in second spot.
James Lowes’s arrival failed to prevent an inevitable relegation which was confirmed following Sunday’s loss at Huddersfield.
As part of a restructure, the top four Championship sides in 2015 face Super League’s bottom quartet in a division called The Qualifiers which eventually decides who plays in the elite in 2016.
But Cummins said: “I still don’t really understand just how it might work and how many games they will have to win.
“I know Bradford have lost a couple of players so far but, hopefully, they can keep hold as much of that squad as possible. That’s what Castleford did when they went down and, a lot further back, Huddersfield, too. But I do think it might be harder than ever before to get promoted now because of the way the system has changed from one up, one down.”
The ex-Leeds Rhinos player, who worked as Mick Potter’s assistant for two years before taking over the main Bradford job ahead of last season, added: “I’m not bitter and I’m not wishing anyone any ill. I’m sad they’ve got relegated as there’s a lot of people there working so hard and the situation everyone has found themselves in has been ridiculous.
“We just didn’t have the numbers. They (new signings) never came. If we’d have got just a couple more we’d have turned.
“I’m at that stage now where I am missing it. The first few weeks are okay as you’re doing other things – you’re a father first and then a coach – but then you do start to miss the banter and the stuff you enjoy doing: coaching and making a difference.”