Kevin McDonald to stand down as Bradford City caretaker manager with search for Mark Hughes' replacement ongoing

Kevin McDonald has stood down as Bradford City's caretaker manager to concentrate on playing.

As soon as he took the job the experienced Scottish midfielder said that combining the two roles would be difficult over a prolonged period, and as a result he will hand over to former co-manager Mark Trueman for Saturday's FA Cup first-round tie at home to Wycombe Wanderers as the search for Mark Hughes' replacement continues.

McDonald's sixth and final match in charge will be Tuesday's Football League Trophy game against Manchester City Under-21s.

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He started with three straight wins, opening up the possibility he might be asked to take the job on a longer-term basis, but consecutive league defeats to Milton Keynes Dons and Sutton United changed the mood music.

STEPPING DOWN: Bradford City caretaker manager, Kevin McDonaldSTEPPING DOWN: Bradford City caretaker manager, Kevin McDonald
STEPPING DOWN: Bradford City caretaker manager, Kevin McDonald

McDonald only played in two of his first five matches as caretaker, in the Football League Trophy when players were rested at Grimsby Town, and at Milton Keynes when fellow veteran midfielder and club captain Richie Smallwood was suspended.

“Our search for a new manager is ongoing, and we are currently staging final interviews with candidates," said Bantams chief executive Ryan Sparks.

“This is a very important appointment and, as with any decision of this magnitude, a great deal of due diligence has been undertaken.

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“I would like to thank Kevin McDonald for stepping up and leading the side.

“Kevin has conducted himself admirably throughout, both on and off the field, securing some important results for the club.

“We had a conversation over the weekend, and agreed that following the EFL Trophy game against Manchester City Under-21s, would come the right time for Kevin to step back into the dressing room as a player.

“Mark Trueman is no stranger to this role, and has our full backing and confidence heading into this weekend’s FA Cup first-round visit of Wycombe.

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“The next update we provide will be the unveiling of our new men’s first-team manager.”

Trueman and Conor Sellars took caretaker control of the League Two club in December 2020 and were handed the job permanently in February, only to be sacked at the end of the season.

Trueman remained on the coaching staff whilst Sellars is now coaching in Hull City's academy. Trueman was McDonald's assistant during his caretaker stint.