Bradford City v Mansfield: ‘It was the right time’ says Mark Hughes

AMONG those grateful that Mark Hughes has returned to the day job after over four years away from management is his ‘other half’.

New Bantams manager Mark Hughes. Picture: James Hardisty
New Bantams manager Mark Hughes. Picture: James Hardisty

League Two may be distinctly unglamorous in terms of what the Manchester United and Wales legend has been used to in his decorated career, but Hughes is essentially a ‘football man’.

He will step out as Bradford City manager today with a sense of pride and responsibility.

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On his absence from the dug-out and keeping busy ahead of his return to management, he said: “I’ve been doing bits and pieces in TV and I’ve just moved into a new house, having lived in the previous one for 25 years.

“You don’t realise how much stuff you accumulate and that’s taken about a year to sort, but it was the right time (to return to work).

“My son, Alex, is my representative and his mum had been telling him that he needed to go and get his dad a job somewhere. I think she’s quite happy with the situation.”

Hughes has brought in former Wales team-mate Glyn Hodges as his number two and is likely to lean upon the ex-AFC Wimbledon manager’s strong working knowledge of the lower leagues.

That said, Hughes, whose managerial career has been forged on professionalism and high standards, has been doing his ‘prep’ on League Two and the players he has inherited and he will also find out a bit more this afternoon.

One issue he has detected has been the worrying amount of muscle injuries this season, with his predecessor Derek Adams having also previously touched upon that fact.

The ex-Manchester City and Stoke City manager revealed: “It’s very easy to research the players. I had the opportunity to pay attention to the game in midweek and that was one of the reasons behind my decision (to come), I felt they were a group who weren’t maximising their potential.

“But a lot of things can impact performance, including confidence. We’ve got to give them the platform to express themselves.

“Clearly, we’ve been hampered by injuries and we want to address that, so I’ll try and get to the bottom of that in order for me to have more players to pick from come match-day.

“It (move to Bradford) happened very quickly, but all the information is out there and anything I need to know, I can find out very quickly.

“It’s a club I would like to put my mark on in terms of driving them forward from the low ebb they are at right now.”