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18 March 2023



18 March 2023

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Mark Hughes was pleased with how his side reacted to an "open" first half, following their 2-2 draw with Hartlepool United.

City went in at the break 1-0 down, before falling 2-1 behind in the second period, but came back to secure a point at the University of Bradford Stadium. 

The Bantams boss praised the control his team showed after the break, and the character they demonstrated to come from behind twice.

“In the second half I thought we were excellent,” he said.

“We were much better. We had six shots in the first half, but 12 in the second. The lads had a good go at it.

“In the first half, we gave up possession to easily, but in the second half we addressed that. A change of formation, personnel change and we gained the control we needed.

“In the first half, the game was too open, almost like a basketball game. We would attack and then they would.

“We did not retain the ball as well as we needed to at the top of the pitch. It was not the control I wanted from the players.

“In the second half, we created a lot of clear-cut chances, and on another day, we convert those. That is a positive we can take.

“We have found it difficult to get back into games once we have gone behind in the past.

“Not through a lack of character, but more against teams protecting what they have, but today, we were not to be denied.”

The Welshman heaped plaudits on City’s No.9 Andy Cook after his two goals took his seasonal tally up to 25, and spoke on how happy he is with not just his goals, but his overall play.

Hughes looked ahead to the quick turnaround the Bantams now face ahead of Tuesday’s visit of Carlisle, in what he describes as a tough game.

“Andy has been fantastic,” he added.

“He is playing extremely well. In my time at the club, he has not played better.

“Not only through his goals, but his overall general play as well.

“It is a quick turnaround. It will not be an easy game, but we have a couple of extra hours in the bank (with the early kick-off).

“We need to make sure the players are right and that could be an advantage for us.

“It is a big game on Tuesday, and we will be ready to go.”

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