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Have been conceding a lot of goals recently, need help!

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I'm currently in my first season at Brentford and it's all been going well until about nearing the end of the season. I actually have the best defence in the league because I have conceded very few goals until the last few games. I'm now conceding 2/3 goals against teams which I should beat easily (Luton, 22nd place, Birmingham, 10th place). 




This is actually my first time posting here, so if theres another place for this, please tell me. Thanks!

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I would start by having a close look at your midfield trio and your out of possesion instructions.

In you midfield (DLP+AP+MEZ) you are lacking a real holding player, like a DM(d) or even a Anchorman. On top of paring a MEZ(a) with a AP(s) it's a risku combo. Not saying that can't work but you'll need good players to pull that off. 

I suggest changing your midfield to something like this:

MEZ(a)            DLP(s)


Now, about your out of possession intructions...

I don't know what team you are managing, but with so agressive instructions (much higher d-Line, much higher LOE, extremely urgent pressing, get stuck in.... you get the idea) you must be managing Liverpool or something like this.

Because you are telling your players to press so high that... they better get that ball back, because if they don't you'll be very open in the back... but i'm guessing that's the reason you are conceding so much.

Try a bit more conservative set of instructions....

Higher D~Line, standard LOE, more urgent pressing. Drop the get stuck in and the prevent gk distribuition (always hard to pull of with only 3 players upfront.

I'm not gonna talk much about the in possession and in transition instructions, but it seems they suffer for the same problem.... too extreme instructions.

Sometimes less is more.

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I have the feeling this could be a case of being at the business end of the season and players start feeling extra pressure to perform, which affects results. When there is extra pressure on games because you are challenging for the title (or promotion in your case), this can lead to such drops in forms and struggles against teams. Not all problems have to be tactical, especially when you have had success. That does not mean you cannot make tactical changes to help, but it also does not mean wholesale changes are required. To be third, something must be going right. 

When you get to this part of the season, it is vital you do not add pressure to your players. This is often overlooked, and can be tricky, but it is important. So for example in press conferences, go easy on the "yes we are sure to win promotion" when you are not. That is adding pressure for the players to prove you right. Even avoid the question altogether if you are unsure. Same goes for "should win it easily". Anything that will add pressure to perform, avoid. Any question that looks like it can take pressure off the players, do that too. I like "there is a lot of football left to be played" as an answer for this. 

Then team talks, go easy on the players. Encourage them more than normal. Be sparing with "expect performance", be easier when saying "I expect a win". Basically same advice, avoid anything that adds pressure. Also go easier with criticism and praise. Obviously you can criticize if they play crap and lose, but if they scrape a 1-0, be super happy with them, let them leave buzzing. If they come back to draw, say good comeback. If they draw to a late equalizer, try "unlucky". I do not have a perfect formula, but managing moral and pressure here is absolutely critical. 

There is, of course, no absolutely correct way to do this. A very determined squad will react differently to one that is not determined. A professional squad different to one with many prima donnas. A team used to winning will handle pressure better than ones who are not used to winning. So keep an eye on it, use your best judgement, and it should help. And of course this is not a cure all for problems, but it something you always have to consider at the end of a season when games matter more. 

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Too many attack minded players or 'glory roles' & too aggressive a system without the ball are the obvious things to me. 

I would change the following. 

Both lines to higher, pressing to high, turn off prevent short gk distribution. This will make you more solid without the ball and put less pressure on your players in defensive situations. 

Roles wise your APS to DLPS, your DLP to DMD or A, IFS on the left to WS, IFS on the right to IFA, CFA to DLPA, left WBS to FBS. 

I'd also turn off Hold Shape & leave this blank, no point in denying a counter opportunity with this system. Highlight distribute to full backs as well to give you keeper more options on the quick distribution. 

Think about these as well... Your playing very narrow for no clear reason. I'd go to normal width at least, maybe high. Your already on low tempo & dribble less so I'd turn off  Work Ball into Box as it's making you even slower in the final third and won't help at all. 

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