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Match Previews


9 February 2023

Match Previews


9 February 2023

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Mark Hughes has called for his Bantams to "trust their quality", ahead of City’s trip to high-flying Stevenage on Saturday.

The Welshman is aware of the threat and physicality Boro possess, but believes his side can cause their hosts issues - by sticking to their approach of controlling possession.

The City boss hopes his side can utilise their resilience and strength used in recent away fixtures to go one further against the Hertfordshire outfit, who are unbeaten at the Lamex Stadium since late October.

He said: “We have to be brave and trust our quality. We have to make sure we cause problems in key areas.

“A few players who have been performing for us on a regular basis will miss out on Saturday, which is unfortunate for us, but I still think we have the capability of causing Stevenage problems.

“Looking back at a number of their previous games, they concede against sides that go toe-to-toe with them.

“Leyton Orient tried that and conceded two goals in quick succession, and thus, were not allowed to play.

“We will stick with our approach of trying to control the game. You need the ball to control games, so we will endeavour to do that on Saturday.

“We have done that away from home this season, and have also done it against Stevenage at home.

“We dealt with their physicality and controlled the game from start to finish, so the aim is to do that again this time around. We would like to get back to winning ways.

“We know they are very good at home, but after our recent tests against Stockport, in particular, we have shown we can match their strength.

“Fixtures are there to test us, and Saturday will do that. We are looking forward to it.”

The 59-year-old insists it is crucial the Bantams “get the maximum” they can out of a challenging run of fixtures, as he looks for his side to replicate their strong start against Mansfield last Saturday.

Hughes claims preparing for Saturday’s challenge is no different to training for any other game, but admits there are extra areas his side will have to look at ahead of the trip south.

“Fixtures like this can either help or hinder our season,” he added.

“It is important that we get the maximum we can out of these games.

“We have the ability to do that against anybody in this league. We have just got to make sure we play at a high level - and are strong from start to finish.

“Overall, we were really strong against Mansfield, and we have to replicate that.

“We have to highlight their areas of strength and weakness. We do that, irrespective of who we play.

“We will prepare the same as we do for any other game. The only difference will be how we limit the opposition.

“Stevenage have a certain way of playing - that is why they are higher up the table - so we will look for triggers that will help us.

“The problem with direct play, is that you do not know where the ball will end up, but we can set up against that. It is about reminding the players of those dangers and doing our best to counteract them.

“If we know our opposition and recognise their strengths, then we will have a better chance at irritating them.

“As always, it is about imposing ourselves against a very strong team.”

CLICK HERE to secure tickets for Saturday's clash, before they go off sale at 9.00am tomorrow. 

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