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Match Previews


12 January 2023

Match Previews


12 January 2023

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Mark Hughes believes his Bantams can move on from Tuesday night’s defeat to Rochdale and react positively, as City travel to the Cherry Red Records Stadium to face AFC Wimbledon this weekend.

Hughes has urged his side to improve their balance and approach to matches, and concluded City have to be more confident when creating chances, and opting to go direct at the right times.

The Bantams are one of the early starters in Sky Bet League Two, with the most goals scored in the opening 15 minutes, but Hughes warns his players they also have to be more composed in the latter stages.

He said: “We were obviously disappointed with the result on Tuesday, and the circumstances of the defeat. 

“Unfortunately, on a few occasions this season, we have been in situations where decisions have gone against us, which does not help when we are trying acquire points. 

“We were not at the right level on Tuesday night, but I believe we will be back performing again on Saturday. The reaction has been positive. 

“We need to get the balance of when to be assertive and creative, and when to sit back and frustrate the opposition. 

“Against Harrogate and Salford, we were very good and our balance was perfect, but on Tuesday, it affected our performance. 

“When we have to play a little more direct, we know we are strong and we know it works. 

“We have been one of the best teams in the league this season, and in the EFL, when it comes to scoring early. We just need to get more confident in seeing a game out.”

The City boss admits his players will focus on regaining their confidence that faded in the narrow defeat to Rochdale, but is expecting a tough game against Johnnie Jackson’s side.

The Dons have tinkered with a style of play of late, starting each of their last three outings with a different formation, but Hughes has encouraged the Bantams to remain pragmatic.

He is looking forward to a trip back to Plough Lane, and while reminiscing on memories of playing against Wimbledon, insists his side are ready for the challenge.

“In terms of Saturday, we will focus on ourselves, and getting back to the level we know we can perform at,” the Bantams boss added.

“They are a good team and it was a good game at our place. They have changed a lot of things around in the past few games, so it will be interesting to see how they start, but we will be ready.

“I have some fond memories of Plough Lane. It was not as lavish as it is now, but it is a great place to go. 

“They used to have some very good players, and still do now. 

“It is always difficult to go there. Most of my memories there, I have come back with a bloody nose - both literally and figuratively!

“It was always a challenge, and I am sure it is still going to be difficult, but we will give them a good go.”

Tickets will be available on the day at Plough Lane on Saturday, with over 1,000 Bantams already set to make the trip.

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