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Match Previews


2 February 2023

Match Previews


2 February 2023

Mark Hughes has called for another strong display against fellow play-off contenders Mansfield Town, as City look to complete a double over the Stags at the University of Bradford Stadium on Saturday. 

The Bantams boss expects another tough clash against Nigel Clough’s side, as City look to take points off a side one place above them in Sky Bet League Two, and Hughes acknowleged the weekend’s encounter is a perfect match to start a winning run.

The Welshman also assessed his new squad dynamic, and reaffirmed that the focus, now the January transfer window has closed, is firmly on picking up points.

He said: “We have to look to take points from teams around us. We did great against them earlier this season, so we will be looking to replicate that.

“We went there in mid-week, and although it is not an easy place to go, we got a strong result and we have to do the same - in front of more of our fans.

“It will be a strong game. There is a big cohort of teams at the top now, so we need to go on a run to separate from them. 

“We need to be in a position where we can attack the promotion places, if we can, so a win on Saturday is crucial.

“The new dynamic is great. It is always good to freshen it up, and January’s are perfect for that.

“There are a couple more players to pick from now, and now that the window has closed, we can do good work with the group.

“Everyone is focused now, and the attention turns back to winning games.”

Hughes admits there is a challenging element in preparing to play sides like Saturday’s opponents, who have been active in the January window, but the 59-year-old insists his Bantams will have to make more of an impact with their changes.

Hughes also anticipates his City side will rediscover their rhythm and momentum, and not let their recent postponements affect their style. 

“It is a little bit like restarting the season again”, he said.

“Many teams have brought in additions that will change the look of a team, and Mansfield are one of them.

“Teams can change their fortunes very quickly, so it will be difficult. Mansfield could play completely different to how they played earlier this season.

“But, we have changed too. We have to ensure our changes in personnel and tactics, are more damaging to our opponents than they are damaging to us.

“We are looking forward to it. It has been another stop-start past couple of weeks, so we just want to be back to the rhythm of playing consistently. 

“Regardless of when we play, the focus should be getting out there and winning games.

“It is difficult when there are large periods when you are not playing - you lack that continuity and it is harder to maintain performance levels.

“We have got a decent run of games now, including rescheduled games, so hopefully, we can have a clear run.”

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