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Match Previews


15 December 2022

Match Previews


15 December 2022

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Mark Hughes hopes for a return to winning ways at the University of Bradford Stadium, when the Bantams contest their first home clash in almost a month on Saturday. 

City welcome Rochdale to West Yorkshire and Hughes is aware of the importance of having strong home form.

After a week off - with last weekend's trip to Gillingham postponed - the Bantams boss believes his side are refreshed after the enforced break, and is desperate to “get back on track” against Jim Bentley’s side. 

He said: “We have not won or played particularly well on too many occasions at home recently, and we need to change that.

“We have all spoken about the importance of our home form. It is a real opportunity for us to get back on track.

“It is all up to us to make sure we take this opportunity and pick up those important three points. 

“Ideally, we would have liked to have played on Sunday. It was a period in Gillingham’s season where they were struggling and we could have taken advantage of that. 

“The weather has caused us some problems, with us not being able to get on any grass, but we have been able to do some good work on the 4G.

“It also has allowed us to build on the game at the weekend and has given some players, like Roms (Crichlow) and Tyreik (Wright) some time to get back to fitness.

“It is frustrating when games are called off like that, but we have to accept it and adjust. It is a busy period over Christmas, so we preparing for that, but first and foremost, we look forward to the game on Saturday.”

While assessing his side's attacking threat ahead of the encounter, Hughes insisted City have worked on converting chances from all areas of the pitch.

The 59-year-old hopes his side can utilise set pieces and threats from wide positions to their strength, over the remainder of the season.

Hughes believes his side have to be cautious of Dale’s threats and not underestimate them.

He added: “We want goals from all areas of the pitch, if we can. 

“At set-plays, we have had really good chances to score, but we have not taken as many as we should have. We have converted a few chances, but we need to get better at finding space and time in the box.

“We are expecting our wider attackers to continue contributing too. All those players in wider positions have had great chances, and they should all end the season with more goals, should they carry on in the same form.

“I am not concerned that most of our goals have come through one player, because when you look across the season and the chances we have created, it is just about finding that execution and finishing the move. 

“Everyone in this league has threats, and we have to be conscious of that. If we do not analyse them and find a way to deal with it, then Rochdale will catch us out. 

“We will highlight individuals and find a way to restrict how they play. We are in decent shape at the moment, so are all looking forward to Saturday.

“For the most part, however, it is about what we want to do. We have to perform well and get back to winning ways.”

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