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Match Previews


19 May 2023

Match Previews


19 May 2023

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Mark Hughes sees only positives, heading into the Bantams' Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg against Carlisle United at Brunton Park tomorrow.

The Welshman is pleased with the one-goal advantage his side are taking to Cumbria, and feels City can draw confidence from winning the first leg at the University of Bradford Stadium last Sunday.

The Bantams boss recognised the need to start strongly - in front a bumper crowd at Brunton Park - and reaffirmed his men “have to make moments in the ascendancy count”.

“I think we need to focus on positivity,” Hughes said.

“We are in a winning position, and if we play as good as we did on Sunday, we will come away with the reward of getting into the final. 

“In the first half, we were very good, and they looked a bit nervous. We have to start positive. 

“There is only so much confidence on a football field, so we have to start strong.

“We have to make our moments in the ascendancy count.

“I would much rather be in our position than in Carlisle’s. We have the confidence of winning the previous game. 

“When we look at the last 10 games, we have won more than them - we are in a better place. 

“There is no pressure aimed at us. Our mentality is really strong at the minute.”

Hughes is enjoying his maiden play-off campaign with the Bantams, and is hoping City’s effort, ethic and determination can be taken into the second leg, and hopefully at Wembley.

He insists the psychological elements of competitive fixtures are “part and parcel” of football, and senses City are in a comfortable place to get the job done.

“I enjoyed the occasion and the atmosphere of the first leg,” the City chief added.

“It reminded me of my time managing in Europe.

“The feeling of getting the team out on the pitch, and when you achieve a good win like we did, you can take the pride and effort into the next step.

“There is still work to be done. It has been enjoyable so far.

“There is a psychology to any game, but we are confident in our ability and are looking forward to the game.

“I sense we are in a good place. I want to get the job done, as does the team. We are ready to get across the line.”

REMINDER: Tickets for tomorrow's clash are SOLD OUT, with close to 2,000 Bantams set to travel to Brunton Park. 

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