THE hard work does not stop for City boss Mark Hughes, as he focuses on shaping his squad for next season.

As well as the obvious need to make statement signings in the summer after a disappointing 14th-placed finish in League Two, it remains to be seen what will happen to some of the Bantams' current star men.

The future of the likes of Paudie O'Connor, Elliot Watt and Charles Vernam is up in the air for now, but Hughes is happy City have done all they can with those they'd like to retain.

He said: “We’re hopeful. We’ve shown our intention and put in good offers with the ones we obviously want to stay and those we want to be part of what we’re doing moving forward.

“It’s important we still have a good core element. Clearly, I’ve worked with them for 13 games and they’ll hit the ground running come summer because they know what I’m about and what I’m asking for.

“That will help any other players that come to the club because they’ll know the standards that we set for each other.

“That core element is key. We really need to get them on board with greater quality in and around those we want to keep.”

As for those new faces, Hughes added: “Recruitment is huge. We’ve got to get that right – that’s a given at this level. Arguably more so at this level.

“If we get it right, which we intend to, then next year can be a really exciting time for everybody.

“We don’t intend to be muddling about in mid-table. That’s not where I want to be, nor anybody connected with the club.

“That’s our intention and we’ve got to go and get it.”

Hughes will be hoping those who do join buy into his methods like the current crop.

He said: “They have been a pleasure to work with. Some won’t be with us next year but their contributions are very much valued as well.

“Everybody had a real go in trying to embrace what we are about and what we’re trying to do from the first day.

“That will always be appreciated by myself and Glyn because everybody put in a real shift.”

And speaking of real shifts, Hughes is not resting despite the season ending on Saturday with the win over Carlisle.

He said: “I’m not allowed off yet. We’ve obviously got a few commitments this week and the memorial is key and pivotal in midweek.

“Around that, I’ll be in probably most days meeting agents and at other times players who are out of contract and might be an option for us.

“A lot of work’s going to start almost immediately.”