MARK Hughes admits City must learn to combat the “dark arts” that teams may bring to Valley Parade this season.

Hughes was angry with Doncaster’s spoiling tactics in the opening-day goalless draw, which also saw the Bantams potentially lose Emmanuel Osadebe for the season.

The winger underwent surgery yesterday after breaking both the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg in a sixth-minute challenge from Liam Ravenhill.

Hughes was infuriated at how referee Bobby Madden allowed Doncaster to slow the game down with some of their play-acting. New rules have been brought in this season to target timewasting.

He said: “I spent an hour and a half with a couple of referees 10 days ago saying that was one of their big things at the beginning of the season. I didn’t see any evidence of that unfortunately.

“The goalkeeper was the chief instigator really, slowing everything down and changing sides and waiting for everybody to get in position.

“He got booked on 88 minutes and I don’t even think it was for timewasting.

“It should have been stamped on by the referee much earlier than that and we might have had some semblance of a football match.”

Doncaster packed everyone behind the ball after Lee Tomlin was sent off just before half-time. City had 22 shots at goal but only two were on target.

“We just didn’t have enough to unpick the lock,” added Hughes.

“But that will stand us in good stead. We’ll have similar circumstances, hopefully not exactly the same, but there will be times when teams come and frustrate and try and make things difficult for us.

“This will allow us to think on and learn what we need to do if we’re ever in that circumstance again.”

Ravenhill was shown a yellow card for the foul on Osadebe – an incident that shook the City players close enough to see it.

Defender Romoney Crichlow, one of those visibly upset, said: “I’d just like to send prayers out to him and hope he has a speedy recovery.

“It’s not a nice thing to see first game of the season. He was as excited to play as everyone else.

“We as a team will get round him and aid his recovery and hope he gets back soon.”

Hughes added: “He’s their team-mate but he’s their friend as well. They’ve been together the whole of the pre-season and he got really close to a number of the guys.

“It’s not one I really want to see again. At the time, I thought it was a poor challenge.

“The players said he may well have got the ball but he followed through and in this day and age you can’t do that. You can seriously injure people.”

Kian Harratt faces a three-game ban for his red card after the final whistle. He shoved keeper Johnny Mitchell as both sides squared up.

Hughes was unimpressed with former FIFA referee Madden’s first appearance in England – and felt he had let too much go from the visitors.

“We had some good half-chances but didn’t really get any help from the referee once again with the amount of grappling on our guys who were trying to get on the line of the ball.

“That’s another thing that we were told about with the referees that they were going to be a little bit more lenient – well, I thought there were some blatant ones.

“It will be like it always is. It’s a new directive they will try and implement in the first few weeks of the season then they’ll forget about it and revert to type, sooner rather than later I hope.”

Osadebe is now beginning his lengthy rehabilitation after the operation yesterday morning.

Hughes said: "We will give Manny all the support he needs and be behind him every step of the way. Hopefully, we will see him back on the field as soon as possible."

Chris Royston, City's head of performance and medicine, was among the staff from both clubs to treat Osadebe at the game.

"His road to recovery has already started," he said. "We would like to thank all those involved in Emmanuel's care so far for their help and support."