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24 January 2023



24 January 2023

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Mark Hughes praised his side’s battling performance as the Bantams left Edgeley Park with "a well-earned point" against Stockport County.

The City chief was pleased his side's resilience as they contained the Hatters’ approach for large periods of the encounter, stopping a side who had won four of their previous five league matches.

Overall, the Welshman was satisfied with the character his Bantams displayed, but admitted City have to be more clinical on the break.

“I thought it was a well-earned draw,” Hughes said. 

“It is not easy to come here and you can see how they come away with results. The early balls in the box are difficult to deal with, so we had to be up for the challenge.

“It was down to the whole team, not just the defenders. We had to rely on second balls and creating angles. We were the team trying to be a little more progressive with our attacks.

“But, the one negative is that possession broke down too often after that first pass. That is a really important ball that you have got to get correct to attack the opposition.

“However, all in all, in terms of a battling performance, it was very good. 

“A lot of character and resilience was shown to not go under. We are disappointed, of course, but I can praise our output.”

Hughes insisted it is always a challenge to play confident teams away from home, but was proud of his side's courage to take points of the Hatters for the first time in three matches.

The 59-year-old handed three debuts to his newest January recruits, Tolaji Bola, Adam Clayton and Matt Derbyshire, and complimented their efforts, concluding “they will be even better”.

Hughes, who also applauded the 1,450 travelling Bantams for their support, acknowledged the effort of the whole team, and insisted the “experience and energy” the new additions brought was matched by the entire team.

He added: “Stockport will shell balls in your box, and you do need to just defend.

“They always pressure you, and that is what happens when they play with confidence.

“But, we were up to the challenge and played when we could. They can see how they have done well, because there was times they could have slipped up. That shows a lot of courage from us.

“It is early days, but there are aspects today that we have not touched on so far with the new players. When we have more time with all of the new signings, they will get better, but I thought all three did well.

“I have brought a lot of experience, energy and leadership to the side, and that showed today, but my credit goes to the whole team.

“The fans will brilliant. It is a difficult place to come and control, but we needed them today.

“It was a good point and I am pleased with it.”

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