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Mark Hughes makes shock return to management at League Two Bradford | Bradford

The former Wales and Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has returned to football with Bradford City after being appointed as the League Two club’s manager on a deal until the summer of 2024.

Hughes has never managed a club outside the Premier League but has returned to the game, with a side 15th in League Two, more than three years after leaving Southampton. Bradford sacked Derek Adams last week.

Bradford have had eight permanent managers in the past four years and have turned to Hughes to try to guide them out of League Two amid another disappointing season. “I am really pleased to be here and am looking forward to the role and the job in hand,” Hughes said. “It has been an exciting few days.

“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 match day, getting that adrenaline flowing and interacting with the crowd. Certainly, from now until the end of the year, we just want to finish strongly and see where that takes us. We want to move the club and everybody with it forward, and hope we can have the success everyone wants.”

Hughes was sacked by Southampton in December 2018, having taken the role the previous March and signed a long-term contract that summer. He was dismissed with the club 18th in the Premier League and was replaced by Ralph Hasenhüttl.

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“We are delighted to have secured Mark’s services and I am looking forward to working alongside him,” the Bradford chief executive, Ryan Sparks, said. “His record and stature in the game speaks for itself, and he has achieved a great deal. To have him in our dugout is representative of the club’s ambition and desire to be successful.

“Mark expressed an interest in becoming our manager and, following talks between him, myself and [the chairman] Stefan Rupp, we are today thrilled to be in a position to unveil him. This is without doubt one of the most significant appointments in the history of our football club. Mark recognises our true potential – and has the desire to ensure we fulfil it.”

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