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27 July 2023

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Mark Hughes was left disappointed after his City side conceded in the last minute to draw 3-3 with Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough at the University of Bradford Stadium.

Although disappointed not to win the pre-season outing, Hughes was happy with the way his team conducted their play.

He was encouraged by the way City were able to control the game with their press and show the work on the training ground is transitioning onto the pitch.

He said: “I think you can see the work we have been putting in on the training ground.

“I am a little disappointed we did not win the game.

“I thought we deserved to win, given how well we played and the problems we caused them.

“I felt we had the better of the play in both halves. Even after a raft of changes on around 60 minutes, the tempo did not drop.

“I think you can see the work we have been putting in on the training ground.

“In the Hull game, you could certainly see an uplift in performance from Bolton, and again from Hull to tonight.

“We are taking steps in our performances every time we go out onto the pitch, which is very encouraging. We want more of the same at the weekend against Rochdale.”

City's clinical No.9, Andy Cook, scored a hat-trick in yesterday’s match, and Hughes highlighted how important this would prove for Cook’s confidence.

On the back of a golden boot-winning campaign, this form is something Hughes hopes his frontman can take into the new season.

“Andy just keeps on scoring,” he added.

“Strikers like Andy need to keep scoring, whether it is in training, a friendly or during the season.

“It is very important for his confidence to be high and he will keep doing what he does best.

“The fact he has been scoring goals in pre-season can only be a good thing going into the league season.”

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