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26 September 2023



26 September 2023

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Mark Hughes praised a spirited second-half display but admitted his Bantams were ultimately outplayed, as City fell to a 2-0 defeat to Sky Bet Championship outfit Middlesbrough in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

The Welshman analysed how Boro were able to get a “foothold” of the encounter, and believed it was a “fair result - on paper”.

“There were positives out of tonight, and I am happy with the effort,” he said. 

“Middlesbrough are a good team - everyone saw that tonight.

“They were physically strong and tactically adept, and gave us a good challenge. 

“We needed to make the best of our chances. It was difficult to get a foothold of the game.

“They were comfortable in keeping the ball away from us, and attacked us in threatening positions. 

“On paper, 2-0 was a fair result. The changes helped us, certainly, in the second half.

“I was encouraged by the second-half performance. (Alex) Patto coming back was refreshing and seeing different players in new positions was good for me.”

The City boss continued to note his impressions with City’s second-half performance, and lauded a variety of individual performances, as he looks to focus on the league as a main priority.

“We conceded at just the wrong time in the second half, as we were beginning gather a foothold in the game,” he added.

“There were some good moments, but the second goal took the wind out of our sails. 

“We kept going though, and there were some good individual performances. Daniel (Oyegoke) did very well and provides an option for us in central midfield.

“It has been a good week. A very good performance against Newport and the performances tonight have encouraged me.

“We have good options that are beginning to settle very well here, and I am excited to see what they can do.

“We will focus on the league now. That has always the priority.”

Hughes' men are back in action at the University of Bradford Stadium this weekend, welcoming Walsall (3.00pm). CLICK HERE to secure your place. 

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