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Match Previews


12 May 2023

Match Previews


12 May 2023

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Mark Hughes expects his Bantams to maintain their resilient performances, ahead of Sunday's Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg against Carlisle United at the University of Bradford Stadium.

Hughes discussed the characteristics he expects to see from his side, as they host the Cumbrians in their play-off opener, while sharing the belief he has in the squad to “get the job done”.

The City chief described his, and the Bantams’ excitement ahead of the encounter, and that the intention - as it has been all season - remains “to get out of this league”.

“Resilience is one of many characteristics you have to display when you lead into a huge game like what we have ahead of us,” he said.

“Alongside confidence and individual character, there are many traits you have to show in games like these. 

“The main message is to be the best version of yourself. I have a sense that the group we have is ready for the play-offs. We will go with the best intentions of getting the job done.

“There is a lot of excitement at the moment - I think that is the overriding emotion around the camp.

“There was a little bit of pressure on the players leading up to Monday’s game, which has now dissipated, and we are looking forward to continuing our journey this season.

“The intention was to always get out of this league, and we still have an opportunity to do that.”

Hughes insisted that the messaging and preparation ahead of Sunday does not change, and despite the difference in circumstances, the fundamentals of preparing for a game are still the same.

The Welshman assessed Paul Simpson’s side and how both teams, who finished on the exact same number of points in the regular season, are “evenly matched”, but he is confident City can cross the line if they take their recent positives into Sunday’s clash. 

“Nothing really changes - the way we prepare will not alter too much,” Hughes added.

“There is always a variation given the opposition you are up against, but the actual lead-up and the amount of work we do will not change.

“It is a bizarre one, because it is like a different competition while being the same one, but the motivation and messaging leading up to this game will be simple to generate. Promotion is right in front of us.

“It is going to be an another huge occasion and we are looking forward to it. 

“We are very evenly matched. Our records this season are extremely similar. We play in different styles, and they have become more direct recently. 

“There are our next important opponent - they deserve respect - but we know we can do the business and make sure we get through.

“We have got a lot of good things going for us, like the momentum we have generated and the connection with our supporters, who can play a part too.

“If we can play well, and use all of these things to our advantage, we know where we will be.”

Over 19,000 places at Sunday's clash have been secured, and you have until 11.59PM TOMORROW to purchase your ticket before prices rise, by CLICKING HERE

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