Mark Hughes revels in Bradford City atmosphere but Mansfield Town spoil the party

Mark Hughes’ first match as Bradford City manager ended in defeat as in-form Mansfield Town extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches with a 2-0 win at Valley Parade in front of a bumper 16,797 crowd.

Despite the result, the former Wales and Manchester City boss said: “I loved every minute of it. It’s been a long time since I was in charge of a group of players at a match on Saturday.”

Hughes was given a standing ovation on his way to the dugout, but Mansfield spoiled the party, scoring either side of half-time to condemn the Bantams to their fourth successive defeat.

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Leading scorer Rhys Oates put them ahead a minute before the interval with an angled drive after a long clearance had been headed into his path.

Mark Hughes made his debut at Bradford City on Saturday (Picture: James Hardisty)Mark Hughes made his debut at Bradford City on Saturday (Picture: James Hardisty)
Mark Hughes made his debut at Bradford City on Saturday (Picture: James Hardisty)

Matty Longstaff, on loan from Newcastle, added a second three minutes after half-time with a shot that took a deflection past keeper Alex Bass after the Bradford defence failed to clear Stephen Quinn’s cross.

Hughes said: “It was a great atmosphere. Mansfield came in numbers and the noise our fans made was great. They are disappointed obviously as we all are, but I think they understand it is a process we are going through and we will get better.

“I saw things I was encouraged by, other things less so, but it’s about making sure we emphasise the elements of our play we need to improve and we will get better.

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“It was a good exercise in terms of having a better understanding of the group. There were elements of our play I was reasonably pleased with.”

Bradford City: Bass, O’Connor, Songo’o, Foulds, Hendrie. Sutton (Evans 75), Watt, Daly (Cooke 60), Gilliead, Robinson, Cook (Lavery 75). Unused substitutes: O’Donnell (gk), Threlkeld, Kelleher, Delfouneso.

Mansfield Town: Bishop, Hewitt, Rawson, Murphy, McLaughlin, Longstaff, Oates (Bowery 86), Quinn (Wallace 80), Maris (Lapslie 69), Stirk, Akins. Unused substitutes: Stech (gk), Clarke, Johnson, Perch.

Referee: A Kitchen (Durham).

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