IT IS hard to measure Mark Hughes’ impact at City on raw statistics alone.

The general consensus is that he has lifted the whole mood around the football club, following the rocky reign of Derek Adams, and that is the most important yardstick.

The actual impact on the field was not as instant as many might have hoped for, but three victories out of three at the end of the campaign have both boosted the win ratio for the boss and given hope heading into next season.

But given there is no official measurement of hope and mood, we thought we’d take a look at some of the key statistics since Hughes took over ahead of the game with Mansfield on February 26.


There have been no real signs of fan dissent under Hughes, and reasonably so, as he was taking over a team out of form and low on confidence.

But aside from an excellent week in which eventual champions Forest Green and Hartlepool were both dispatched 2-0 away from home, wins proved tricky to come by.

The rest of Hughes’ opening 10 games saw three draws and five defeats, which included a 2-1 home reverse against Swindon in which former Bantam loanee Jack Payne netted a last-gasp penalty.

The nadir probably came with the dreadful 3-0 loss at Colchester, which saw Paudie O’Connor sent off too.

But that proved to be City’s last defeat of the campaign, with their 4-1 thrashing of Sutton in particular hopefully a sign of things to come.

ABOVE: City's League Two progress from first game to last.


The Bantams actually increased their league goal ratio slightly under Hughes, from 1.12 per game in the opening 33 matches to 1.23 under the Welshman.

No doubt the aforementioned thumping of Sutton helped on that front, and there was also a welcome return to the scoresheet for the injury-afflicted Lee Angol on the final day at home to Carlisle.

The Bantams had Jamie Walker net in all of their last three home games, so like Angol, will be delighted to have him sign a new contract.

Can Charles Vernam be persuaded to do the same? He netted four times under Hughes, including a double in the superb win at Sutton.


The Bantams had only kept six league clean sheets all season before Hughes took over, so the ratio improved markedly under the Welshman.

Conceding twice in his opening two games against Mansfield and Swindon meant City were on a run of shipping nine in four games, but they largely shored up thereafter.

With Yann Songo’o in particular flourishing towards the back end of the campaign, the Bantams proved a tricky nut to crack.

Clean sheets against Forest Green and Hartlepool immediately followed those two early defeats under Hughes, before goalless draws against Newport and Northampton, with the latter particularly impressive against a side who ended up missing out on promotion by the narrowest of margins.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A clean sheet and a goal for a happy Yann Songo'o at Hartlepool.A clean sheet and a goal for a happy Yann Songo'o at Hartlepool.

City only actually conceded six more times than automatically-promoted Bristol Rovers and less than every team below them, so if Hughes can maintain that largely solid defensive end to the season, City should have a chance of a better league position next term.


Hughes has taken the chance to rotate, partly through injuries and suspensions, partly in order to give himself an idea of who he wants in the squad heading into 2022/23, though loanee Alex Bass has remained number one, despite the clamour for the likely outgoing veteran Richard O’Donnell to start on the final day.

It is almost certain that club captain Paudie O’Connor would have featured in every game if not for his red card against Colchester, while Luke Hendrie could have been an ever-present were it not for Oscar Threlkeld’s failed Hughes audition in that same game on Easter Monday.

So that leaves Yann Songo’o as the only outfield player to have played every game and every minute under Hughes.

He was very much a Derek Adams signing, having starred under the Scot as a midfielder at Morecambe during their 2020/21 promotion-winning campaign.

But he has shown his prowess at centre-half of late, picking up multiple man of the match awards, and he is likely to be a key figure again under Hughes next term.


The annual home memorial fixture held in honour of the 56 victims of the 1985 Valley Parade Fire Disaster is always a special and poignant one.

So it was incredibly heartening to see so many turn out on the final day, even if there was nothing to play for on the pitch for either the Bantams or Carlisle.

Given they have spent plenty of seasons at this level, a remarkable record was set, with it being the highest-ever attendance for a game at Valley Parade in the fourth tier, breaking the previous benchmark set 58 years ago against Workington.

Over 17,000 turned up for Adams’ first home game against Oldham, but that had dwindled to barely 15,000 in the last match (against Exeter) before his departure.

But that huge crowd for Carlisle offers so much hope for next season, when it comes to revenue, interest in the team again, and an atmosphere that can potentially help make Valley Parade a fortress again.