Alex Thompson believes North Wales Crusaders are capable of matching League one's best sides ahead of a tough fixture sequence.

The Cru centre made his return from a long-term knee injury in the comprehensive 42-6 home victory over Coventry Bears last time out.

Now the Wrexham club face an onerous June fixture list that begins with Saturday's trip to league leaders Bradford Bulls, before clashes with York and London Skolars.

But Thompson is convinced the Cru can enhance their own play-off credentials with some strong performances.

He said: "With respect you don't make a name for yourself by beating Coventry by 40 points.

"You make a name for yourself by going to the likes of York, Bradford and Doncaster and getting wins or running them close - that's when you start to get some recognition.

"That's where we need to set our standards and we need to target wins against teams like that and really push those top end teams.

"Going up against Bradford, there's nothing to lose the pressure is all on them. We know we can turn up against the big sides and I think that's what frustrates some people at times.

"We sat down and talked about it and said let's all get really stuck into training in this week off and go to Bradford to give it a real go because we've got nothing to lose. We know that if we turn up on the day we can turn anyone over.

"With respect we don't always do that against some of the lesser sides in this league and in some games we haven't really showed up.

"But if we can string a couple of wins together, which I'm sure we we will, once we start clicking and show a bit more cohesion on the field I know we can push ourselves a bit further up the ladder. "

Thompson has also hailed the impact of coach Anthony Murray since returning for his second spell in charge of the club in March.

The 41-year-old has overseen four wins from seven in his second tenure, and Thompson believes the return of key players in recent weeks will

help improve that win ratio.

He added: "What you've got to bear in mind is that since Muzza (Anthony Murray) has taken over, he hasn't really had his full-strength team at any point.

"So he's done a great job in instilling in the lads what it is he wants to do. This is a very tough league and I've been in it for about eight years now and this is the toughest it's ever been.

"Personally I was struggling with a bit of soreness after the Coventry game but my knees held up well.

"My performance was okay - I was involved in the build-up to a couple of tries but I probably should have scored one myself but with a couple of my final passes I was just a bit rusty on the ball.

"But that will improve come with match fitness and more game time. I'm happy I got through the game but I know I can get miles better.

"We got the win and defensively we were miles better, which is something we wanted to improve on.

"We we were still a bit scrappy with the ball and there were a few too many unforced errors and in the heat the ball was a bit slippy, but hopefully when the weather's not as drastic as that won't happen so much.

"To keep them to six points was a really good score."