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10 January 2023



10 January 2023

Mark Hughes regretted the circumstances of this evening’s 2-1 loss, as his side fell to a first defeat in three matches against Rochdale.

City were 1-0 to the good at half-time, before the game spun as Abo Eisa was denied a penalty, before Dale converted from a spot-kick at the other end.

Hughes was disappointed by the refereeing decisions, and how side lost a game the had control of at the break.

He said: “It is a tough one to take, because of the circumstances of the game. We were 1-0 to the good, and not really under any real pressure.

“We then had a blatant penalty turned down, and why the referee did not see that as a penalty, I have no idea.

“At the other end, Brad Halliday was pulled back and that was what unbalanced him and forced the coming together, and that was deemed a penalty to the opposition.

“You want the referees to call the big decisions correctly, and unfortunately that was not the case, and that cost us. Their second goal was offside, and they did not see that either.

“From a position of strength, where we could have been 2-0 up and seeing the game out comfortably, the officials played a hand and that unfortunately cost us.

“Without playing right to the level we are capable of, we were quite comfortable and - at 2-0 - the game is over in my view, so that is the frustration from our side.

“It was a game we were in control of and it was allowed to slip away from us, and we could not have done much about it.

“We could have played a little more football in certain areas, but it was a difficult surface and the game could have been called off. Ultimately, it has been decided by poor decisions.”

Despite defeat, Hughes praised the performance of Abo Eisa, who put in a man-of-the-match showing as well as scoring his second goal in two matches.

The Bantams boss is pleased his No.30, recently back from injury, is playing with confidence, and has called for his positive performances to continue.

He added: “I thought Abo played really well. Notwithstanding his goal, I thought his general play was good.

“He has a lot of confidence at the moment, and we are all pleased for him.

“Clearly, it would have been better if we had got the three points, but Abo is moving in the right direction and goals will always help his confidence. He is in a good place at the moment.”

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