01 October 2022

Mark Hughes sees room for improvement after Bradford beat Harrogate

01 October 2022

Bradford boss Mark Hughes admitted his team were not at their best despite ending their Harrogate hoodoo.

The Bantams had lost all four previous meetings against their Yorkshire neighbours but goals from Andy Cook and on-loan Aston Villa attacker Tyreik Wright secured a 2-1 away triumph despite Jaheim Headley’s early second-half equaliser.

Victory also extended Bradford’s unbeaten run to a seventh game, although ex-Wales chief Hughes insisted there was still room for improvement.

He said: “The result was absolutely what we wanted. We didn’t look at our best and made too many unforced errors but we were the more dominant side and never looked like going under.

“We just gave balls away in poor areas of the field. We need to cut that out of our play but they didn’t really cause us too many concerns and that’s what you’re looking for away from home.

“We picked up three points without reaching the levels we can, so we’re happy enough and will take that. There were two bits of nice play for our goals from Harry Chapman to get the penalty and then Lee Angol put Tyreik (Wright) through for a great finish.

“We just needed to see that type of quality more often, because we could have made the game more comfortable and those are the details we need to improve on.”

On finally ending the club’s Harrogate curse, Hughes added: “We had never beaten them and had a poor record home and away against Harrogate so the need to change that was mentioned pre-match and we’ve put that to bed now.”

Harrogate have lost seven of their last eight contests, but home boss Simon Weaver was encouraged by a performance in which Bantams keeper Harry Lewis was the busiest after making smart saves to deny Luke Armstrong (twice), Alex Pattison and Jack Muldoon.

Weaver said: “It was a lot better a performance and the lads are getting it in terms of the intensity we have to play at and have always played at.

“Losing a game doesn’t half wound you, but I’ve got to look at the bigger picture and there’s a better feel about the place because we caused them problems and, with a bit more quality like they showed with the deft finish that they brought to the party for the winning goal, we would have taken something from the game.

“But I feel we are getting stronger and I feel every individual is bringing a lot to what we want to do now. It just came down to two disappointments when we were punished twice.

“Our front two competed well and, although they both need a goal, they were full of energy. Individually, we are not bad all – collectively, we just need to keep on growing.”

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