MARK Hughes believes opposite number Pete Wild will make his mark with Barrow this season.

The pair lock horns this afternoon in Cumbria in City’s opening away game of the new campaign.

Wild made the summer move to the Bluebirds from West Yorkshire after twice leading Halifax to the National League play-offs.

Hughes feels the 38-year-old has earned his promotion to a League Two role.

“I think that was the natural next step for him,” said the Bantams chief. “He paid his dues, so to speak, and did his work.

“He was obviously very close last year with Halifax. He probably felt, and everybody else felt, it was time for him to make the step up and credit to him.

“It will be interesting to see how he does.

“He’s at a club that have had recent success in terms of promotion into the Football League, so he’ll know the levels that he’s working with. I fully expect him to have an impact this year.”

Wild, who had a brief spell in charge at Oldham in 2019, began his Barrow tenure with a cracking 3-2 win at Stockport on opening day.

Hughes knows City will face a home side buzzing from that result.

“You want to have a good start and obviously going away from home to one of the fancied teams in the league this year and to get the result they did – and in the manner they did it – is credit to them.

“Clearly, they are in a positive frame of mind and we’ll have to be ready for that and the confidence levels they’ve got at the moment.”

The Welshman hopes his team will get more creative at Holker Street after being smothered by Doncaster in their goalless curtain-raiser at Valley Parade.

He said: ““We didn’t get beyond their backline enough either with accurate and crisp passing or direct play in terms of people taking anybody on.

“We didn’t have too many examples where someone was able to beat a man in a one v one situation. I think we played a little bit safe on occasions.

“Top end of the pitch, I will always encourage the lads to have a go and be creative. That’s the message we’re talking about.”