Former Manchester City boss Mark Hughes makes SHOCK return to management at League Two Bradford on a two-and-a-half year deal, having been out of work since being sacked by Southampton in December 2018
- Mark Hughes has been unveiled as the new manager of Bradford City
- The former Man City manager has been out of work for over three years
- Hughes has spent all of his club managerial career in the Premier League
Mark Hughes has made a shock return to football as manager of Bradford City.
The Manchester United legend and former Manchester City, Stoke and Southampton boss, has signed a two-year deal with the League Two side in a move he admitted would ‘surprise’ people.
Only six men have taken charge of more matches in the Premier League than 58-year-old Hughes, who also played for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.
Bradford City unveiled Mark Hughes as manager on a two-and-a-half year deal on Thursday
Hughes celebrates a win at Old Trafford while Manchester City manager in 2009
However, the Welshman is understood to have emailed the 15th-placed Yorkshire side on Monday to express his interest.
Officials acted swiftly and after face-to-face meetings and a video call with Bradford’s German ownership he met players on Thursday morning before his arrival was announced.
‘I am really pleased to be here and am looking forward to the role, and the job in hand. It has been an exciting few days,’ said Hughes, who replaces sacked Derek Adams.
‘It is maybe a little bit of a surprise that I have come in, but do not be put off by that! I am here for a reason: to make Bradford City a team people want to come and watch – and are proud to watch.
‘The supporters come in their numbers, and that is the thing I have missed since being out of management. I am looking forward to the matchday, getting that adrenaline flowing and interacting with the crowd.
Hughes scored 163 goals across two spells as a Manchester United player in the 80s and 90s
Certainly, from now until the end of the year, we just want to finish strongly and see where that takes us. We want to move the club and everybody with it forward, and hope we can have the success everyone wants.’
Bradford chief executive officer Ryan Sparks called it one of the most ‘significant appointments in the club’s history’.
He added: ‘His record and stature in the game speaks for itself, and he has achieved a great deal. To have him in our dugout is representative of the club’s ambition and desire to be successful.’
Bradford boast by far the highest average attendances in the fourth tier and were in the Premier League in 2001. However, they have underachieved for a long time and are currently 10 points from the play-offs with 13 matches to play.