Mark Hughes wants 'underachieving' Bradford City to be right in League Two promotion race next season

Mark Hughes says that being in the promotion mix is the bare minimum he expects from his Bradford City side next season.

The former Manchester City and Southampton manager arrived at Valley Parade at the end of February following the dismissal of Derek Adams.

It was a significant coup for the club, as the Welshman took his first club management job outside the Premier League.

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Hughes clearly sees potential in Bradford, who are the best supported team in the fourth tier and it's his goal to get them promoted next season.

"I know a lot of managers like to play down the expectation of their group just so they can overachieve if they do well, but I’ve never done that,” he told

“I’ve always tried to raise expectation. I think expectation is important; important to the players so you can challenge them, but also for the fans.

"Fans want to hear that we want to get out of this division and that is our intention.

“We want to go straight up next season. The intention is to be right in the mix next year as the bare minimum requirement.

MARK HUGHES: Is targeting promotion with Bradford City next season. Picture: PA Wire.

"I’m not going to beat about the bush in terms of that. For me, it was quite clear that the club has huge potential, it’s got a huge fanbase and it’s underachieving.

“The excitement is there and I want the new season to start now. I’m ready and want to take this club forward.”

The Bantams finished a disappointing 14th at the end of last campaign but Hughes was encouraged by what he saw during his spell in charge.

Bradford ended the season on a high, as they recorded three-straight wins over Scunthorpe United, Sutton United and Carlisle United.

“Coming in with 13 games to go gave me an opportunity to have a real snapshot of the club and understand what was needed going into the summer," he added with the Bantams securing their latest addition in the shape of Romoney Crichlow on Tuesday.

“In the 13 games I had as manager, we pretty much played everyone above us in the table, so I feel it’s given me a pretty good understanding of the division as well, so I know what to expect.

"I’m really encouraged by what the team showed me in those final few games. The season just gone doesn’t really illustrate what we’re about or what I want us to be about – next year we have to be successful."