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Mid-Season drastic dip in form

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Playing as Bromley in Blue Square South we were going great guns and stormed to the top of the division but ever since I lost 4-2 to Huddersfield in the FA Cup it has been a struggle to win a game, we have been losing and drawing a number of games now and Im quite concerned it is going to cost us. Is this typical of a FM season where there are times where you go on a long unbeaten run then everything comes to a halt all of a sudden?

Im also getting feedback during certain games that players "look disinterested"- What is causing this and how do I help cure the crisis of confidence in the team?

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Been there. Let me guess... Conceding bad goals? Missing easy chances? Misplaced passes?

One word: overconfidence.

When you're winning your players get arrogant and sloppy. Then you start losing and confidence crashes and you can't get out of the spiral.

Morale needs to be balanced, not maxed out. Don't praise your players unless they deserve it. Pressurise them with team talks etc.

With underconfidence, do the opposite.

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Well put Robert Cornell...

Long story short though, this does happen in real life all the damn time. Hull were 3rd (equal top on points alone) in the Premier League a few years back and ended up surviving on the last day. Blackpool did similarly well this season, and went down. In lower tiers you have Burton Albion in the Blue Square Premier. They were top by 16 point on January 1st and only managed promotion by a point on the last day of the season. Derby this season were 4th and chasing down the top 2 at pace playing some of the best football in the league by November 27th, and survived with only a game to go.

Confidence is the key, keep it up, how? Decide for yourself. My solution is to keep two squads worth of players and drop the gits who suffer from over confidence.

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Been there. Let me guess... Conceding bad goals? Missing easy chances? Misplaced passes?

One word: overconfidence.

When you're winning your players get arrogant and sloppy. Then you start losing and confidence crashes and you can't get out of the spiral.

Morale needs to be balanced, not maxed out. Don't praise your players unless they deserve it. Pressurise them with team talks etc.

With underconfidence, do the opposite.

^^^^^^^^^^^

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While I agree with the overconfidence thing (although it is represented terribly), using Hull and Blackpool as examples is way off. Both just got off to fast starts (likely adrenaline fueled) and as time went on, lack of squad depth and quality become apparent.

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Been there. Let me guess... Conceding bad goals? Missing easy chances? Misplaced passes?

One word: overconfidence.

When you're winning your players get arrogant and sloppy. Then you start losing and confidence crashes and you can't get out of the spiral.

Morale needs to be balanced, not maxed out. Don't praise your players unless they deserve it. Pressurise them with team talks etc.

With underconfidence, do the opposite.

On top of this, taking that one loss after a long unbeaten streak can really hurt the morale of the players if not dealt with properly. Use things like personal chats to get the team back up before the next game if this happens. If you lose two or three on the trot, it can be really hard to get things back on track, so try to act first. Even things like playing much more cautiously in the first game after a loss can help - a poor win or even a draw is far better than risking another loss and hence another morale hit.

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I think I am beginning to have a similar problem. I am managing Basingstoke in the BSS and was totally walking the league. My first loss didn't come until early November where I lost against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup second round. I encouraged my players to move on quickly, and although scrappy, my winning streak in the league continued. Then I suffer an extremely unlucky loss against Braintree Town in the league (hit the woodwork 4 times, lost 1-0). I tried to pick my players up again, and in the subsequent 3 games I have had two draws and a win.

The problem is, in all three games I conceded first (usually in the first 15 minutes), and one player on my team will have an immediate morale drop (in-game), right down to 'Very Poor', even though they were 'Superb' or 'Very Good' just 15 minutes earlier. In one of the cases the player wasn't even at fault for the goal. This results in me withdrawing them at half-time and essentially wasting a substitute. After the games - coming from behind to salvage something in all three - the morale-hit players are back to a good level of morale.

Factors I'm guessing it could be are my congested winter fixture list, low determination (though don't a large proportion of players in non-league have relatively low determination stats?), and the fact my top scorer's loan finished and has gone back to Reading (can't loan him again as I have filled my quota).

I never had a problem in my Southampton FM10 game (League One to Premier League), but in a previous save I had with Basingstoke when I got to League Two I also suffered an abhorrent loss of form, practically forcing me to revamp all my tactics. I don't want to resort to this in non-league due to pure hassle and lack of resources.

Any insight?

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I think I am beginning to have a similar problem. I am managing Basingstoke in the BSS and was totally walking the league. My first loss didn't come until early November where I lost against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup second round. I encouraged my players to move on quickly, and although scrappy, my winning streak in the league continued. Then I suffer an extremely unlucky loss against Braintree Town in the league (hit the woodwork 4 times, lost 1-0). I tried to pick my players up again, and in the subsequent 3 games I have had two draws and a win.

The problem is, in all three games I conceded first (usually in the first 15 minutes), and one player on my team will have an immediate morale drop (in-game), right down to 'Very Poor', even though they were 'Superb' or 'Very Good' just 15 minutes earlier. In one of the cases the player wasn't even at fault for the goal. This results in me withdrawing them at half-time and essentially wasting a substitute. After the games - coming from behind to salvage something in all three - the morale-hit players are back to a good level of morale.

Factors I'm guessing it could be are my congested winter fixture list, low determination (though don't a large proportion of players in non-league have relatively low determination stats?), and the fact my top scorer's loan finished and has gone back to Reading (can't loan him again as I have filled my quota).

I never had a problem in my Southampton FM10 game (League One to Premier League), but in a previous save I had with Basingstoke when I got to League Two I also suffered an abhorrent loss of form, practically forcing me to revamp all my tactics. I don't want to resort to this in non-league due to pure hassle and lack of resources.

Any insight?

The sudden morale drop after you concede surely has to do with Determination and/or the hidden stats (like Pressure). The morale in-match and the morale in the squad screen are two different things. Determintion isn't a relative skill - either they react to conceding by fighting even harder (high determination 15+), they take it like men and continue the game like before (ok determination 11-14ish) or they freak out and become scared little girls (low determination 1-10ish).

As I have said before (some disagreed), one loss after a winning streak sets your good form back to zero. Without a squad consisting of determined professionals enjoying each other's company, it could be difficult to bounce straight back. You will have to start from scratch, changing from battling overconfidence to building morale and reducing pressure already before the first match after the loss. Don't use "expect a win", "for the fans" or other pressure-building team talks or at press conferences.

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Ok I had this experience potentially, and dramatically so.

I've built up Arsenal and won the league the first two years. Into my third season, unbeaten after about 18 games, with most teams running annoying overly defensive formations. Then, all of a sudden everyone goes standard 4-4-2, super, and I go on a run of 4-0, 5-0, smashing.

And then for no reason why draw almost every game 0-0 or lose 1-0. I really don't know what I can do, the game isn't showing me anything obvious. Morale was broadly fine, and we had no problem in the 2nd and QF of the champions league. What should I be looking for? We scraped him in the league, even losing 0-1 to Stoke on the last day of the season. I was on for about 96 points, I think we won it in the mid 70s.

As I say - any clues I should look for? Is over confidence really a thing?

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There can also be reputational and/or tactical issues to consider.

For example - perhaps you are a club not expected to do very well in the league. Other teams know this and try to play aggressively against you - they see you as easy prey. This falls into your hands tactically speaking and you exploit the holes that their aggressiveness leaves. You go on a good run and overachieve for a time. After a while other teams recognise your good form and stop playing quite so aggressively - so now the holes you were exploiting are no longer there and you stop getting such good results. You need to adapt.

2nd example - you are playing as a top club. Most of the time you will simply be able to steamroller opponents because of your quality. A lot of teams will play fairly defensively against you but you'll still win. However, sometimes their defensive attitude will pay off - you'll get matches where you seem to dominate, they'll have 2 shots all match, score one with a break away goal or set piece, and win. Your team fails to break down these opponents and you are left feeling frustrated. Again, perhaps you should adapt during matches like this to get through these parked buses.

Edit - just realised this is a 5 year old thread :p.

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