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30 December 2022



30 December 2022

Mark Hughes was proud of his Bantams’ performance after they returned to winning ways at the University of Bradford Stadium, beating Harrogate Town 1-0 in Sky Bet League Two.

Hughes insisted it was paramount to bounce back from the recent defeat to Carlisle United on Boxing Day, and was delighted with how his City side responded to end 2022 on a high.

The Welshman was pleased with the tactical and personnel changes he made and was happy players such as Levi Sutton and Vadaine Oliver were “ready” to make an impact against the Sulphurites.

He said: “I am really pleased with the manner of the performance. It was really excellent in all areas of the field. 

“We caught them off guard as I do not think they expected us to start and finish in the way we did. I thought that would disrupt their plans.

“We were not under any pressure, despite scoring first. We were always the more likely team with our good energy right across the pitch.

“We talked about what we wanted to do and how to bounce back from the disappointing result against Carlisle, and I am happy we addressed that tonight.

“We changed things around a little in terms of personnel and shape, which worked to our advantage. There were a lot of big performances, as a result of those changes. Levi (Sutton) and Vadaine (Oliver) have not featured much, but I thought they were excellent.

“It shows great credit as you are never sure when your opportunity to start will come around. It was the right time to bring new players in and I am very pleased they made the right impact.

“It was a really good response from everyone in what was a difficult period where we played tough opposition. We bounced back today and that was the important thing.”

Hughes praised his Bantams’ fitness levels and admitted his side shows the right levels of sharpness which lacked from the defeat on Boxing Day, which was City’s first outing in 23 days.

With the Bantams back into the play-off places in Sky Bet League Two, the City chief hopes his side can utilise this confidence and momentum ahead of a hectic schedule in the New Year, starting against Salford City on Sunday.

“I do think we were not ready for Carlisle,” Hughes continued.

“They had the benefit of playing the weekend before us and I think that made a difference. This game showed us how strong and sharp we can be with a game under our belt. 

“That was the level we needed to be at and I hope we can continue that ahead of our busy schedule. I am really pleased for the guys as they were at their best today.

“We have got another big game coming up in Salford so we have to make sure we are in fine form for that.

“We really enjoyed winning at home today and hopefully we can do the same again next time out.”

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