Bristol Rovers’ League Two rivals Bradford City make shock appointment of former Man City boss Mark Hughes

Bristol Rovers’ League Two rivals Bradford City have sent a shock wave throughout League Two
League Two clubs will be on alert after Bradford City’s major appointment. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)League Two clubs will be on alert after Bradford City’s major appointment. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
League Two clubs will be on alert after Bradford City’s major appointment. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Bradford City have pulled off the shock appointment of former Manchester City and Wales manager Mark Hughes, who has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Hughes replaces Derek Adams, who was sacked nine days ago and has since already found a new job, having returned to Morecambe, who play in League One.

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The Bantams appointment is a shock given Hughes’ standing in the game as well as his history after his playing career was done, managing mainly in the top flight of English football.

Bradford are currently 15th in the division, 12 points from safety as well as ten points off of a play-off spot with Hughes in charge for the last 13 games of the season

The 58-year-old returns to management having last managed in 2018 in a short stint with Southampton. He has since been a pundit for BBC’s Match of the Day and Football Focus.

“I am really pleased to be here and am looking forward to the role, and the job in hand. It has been an exciting few days,” said Hughes.

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“It is maybe a little bit of a surprise that I have come in, but do not be put off by that! I am here for a reason: to make Bradford City a team people want to come and watch - and are proud to watch.

“The supporters come in their numbers, and that is the thing I have missed since being out of management. "I am looking forward to the matchday, getting that adrenaline flowing and interacting with the crowd.”

Taking over at Bradford City will be the lowest level that he has managed in given he had only previously managed either internationally or in the Premier League. He began as player-manager with Wales in 1999 before moving to Blackburn Rovers, where he guided them to UEFA Cup qualification.

His efforts were recognised by Man City and he replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson in what was the early years of the Sheikh Mansour regime and he managed the likes of Robinho and Carlos Tevez, he was later replaced by Roberto Mancini.

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Hughes then managed Fulham for 11 months before joining their West London rivals Queens Park Rangers, securing their place in the Premier League before signing some high-profile signings like Park Ji-sung and Julio Cesar.

Hughes was then manager of Stoke City for five years, making them a mid-table side and continuously preserving their top-flight status.

After his time at the bet365 Stadium ended, he joined Southampton and kept them up, earning a longer deal but was replaced by Ralph Hassenhuttl just nine months later in December 2018.

As well as in management, Hughes was part of a Manchester United side that won a European Cup, as well as two league titles and an FA Cup. He also tasted success with Chelsea, winning the FA Cup again, as well as the UEFA Cup.

He will take begin his reign by taking on Mansfield Town at Valley Parade this Saturday before being due to bring his new side to the Memorial Stadium on April 2.

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