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yep a few high scoring game out of 37 game play only lost 7

9 game left of the season top of the table with a total of 78 points

bit of a gap between me and 2nd place there on 65 points

Some great results there, how has Ings been for you? Any good?

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bfc, that's a good season there. How have Trippier, Ings and Vokes done for you? Good luck with the rest of season 1.

Plainlayzee, yeah Reading have a transfer pot of £6m or something, and seem to get a takeover in season 1 which makes them even richer. Two things put me off: 1) the squad IRL looks strong on paper but is awful on the pitch, and very unbalanced. I would want to get rid of most of them, and that's not really my way in FM. 2) the finances are too high to be realistic and I think promotion would be too easy. I managed Huddersfield alot a few years back (L1) when they had a really great group of players, now you just really have Vaughan, and at a push, Smithies. Brighton interested me because of Ulloa (an absolute beast on FM13) and young Forster-Caskey - but again I think it would be easy to get them up now. Leicester have a really strong squad and would be a good challenge if you want to be try and remain loyal to the existing players. I'm almost certain a promotion would be achieved without even entering the transfer market. Sheff Wed have a big fanbase and potential (and the legendary Michail Antonio, if you want to replicate the success I had with him in FM13). I don't think Ipswich are more than a top half Championship team, but if I took them on I would try and get back alot of their ex-players from the glory era of the late 70's and early 80's as staff. They have a fairly solid back-line, Cresswell in particular is a favourite, and a fairly good culture of bringing through young players. Signings would be needed, but I reckon them or Burnley would be a good choice where potential is evident, but it won't be too easy. Good luck at your new club and I will look forward to reading about it.

Portsmouth season 2 update...

February 2015

Portsmouth 3-1 Shrewsbury (N’Koyi x 2, Holman), League 1

A comfortable home win, as N’Koyi continued his fine form with another double.

MK Dons 1-2 Portsmouth (Holman x 2), League 1

Holman put us two clear and we held on despite a late consolation from the hosts.

Portsmouth 2-4 Crawley (N’Koyi, Harris), League 1

Nobody inside the stadium, including me, expected this when bottom of the league Crawley came to town. We equalised their early goal, but went in at the break 4-1 down. A second, from substitute Harris on his injury return after the interval, was too little, too late.

Brentford 1-1 Portsmouth (Colclough), League 1

We got back on track with a better display here, taking the lead in the second half, but parity was restored quickly and I was satisfied with the point.

This had been a lighter month in terms of fixtures, and a bright start was disrupted by the shock defeat in the middle. Hopefully, we are still on track for the top six, as we end the month in 3rd place. There will be no more transfer activity to help me along, but youngster Tarbuck has been allowed to join Chelmsford on loan.

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Some good results there Jogo, I agree with @MB re N'Koyi, he seems to be on fire at that level. I wonder if he could make the step up to the Championship?

Still haven't decided who to go as, I fired it up last night and had a look through a few clubs, Burnley are defo one of the favourites as they seem to be a club I can develop. I like Huddersfield too, they have always been a team I have been drawn towards and could be a possibility, maybe get them into the Premier League and re-sign Rhodes :p.

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Brighton would go down that road as well, although their stadium is pretty new. Would that hinder the chances of you expanding? Derby could be a good shout, healthy budget and a good starting team (Hughes, Bennett, Russell) etc.

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Cheers guys, N'Koyi has been a good signing on a Bosman free and wage of just over £2k p/w. I wasn't expecting him to be capped by DR Congo whilst playing in League 1, but he scored on his international debut after joining me, and now has 7 goals in 10 appearances for them. He appeared in their three AFCON games (January 2015), but that could turn out to be a hindrance to the club in the future. He has dual nationality (Dutch/Congolese) hence there is no WP issue if you want to consider him at any time. I'm not sure if Pompey will be promoted to the Championship this season, but I'd like to think he could at least be a 3rd choice striker at that level (for me, he's likely to remain 1st or 2nd choice).

Plainlayzee, I know you won't take on Derby again after last year, so good luck with Huddersfield/Burnley. Huddersfield are demolishing League 1 in my game, it's mid-March and they have scored 94 goals already - and they're about 25 points ahead of me in 3rd place, with only a couple of draws and about three defeats. James Vaughan has hit over 30 goals already, so if you were able to add Rhodes at some point (and maybe Pilkington for delivery), you'd have some serious firepower! FWIW, I understand that Wigan have a transfer kitty of about £15m in season 1, plus the Europa League challenge - and Rhodes has been willing to go there, according to other managers.

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Brighton would go down that road as well, although their stadium is pretty new. Would that hinder the chances of you expanding? Derby could be a good shout, healthy budget and a good starting team (Hughes, Bennett, Russell) etc.

I had a save on FM13 as Derby and did quite well and really enjoyed it, sort of feel like I have done that now and don't really want to go there again, although they were very enjoyable to manage. See someone like a Blackburn/Birmingham or something would be great but to be honest I hate their owners and therefore don't want to do anything for them! As for Birmingham they normally seem to get taken over and get a fortune to spend.

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Just finished my 2nd season with Coventry, went a lot better than the last. Won the league very comfortably and also added the JPT. Didn't do too well in the FA/COC Cups though.

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Made a lot of transfers at the start of the season due to teams coming in for my players, although i was happy to get rid of most of them. Didn't spend that much, with only one player coming in for a significant fee.

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Good results came largely down to the front 2 performing well, with the big money signing Sutton and the academy regen Danny Alzapiedi finishing 3rd and 2nd in the goalscoring charts. Alzapiedi is now interesting Chelsea and Tottenham but hopefully my board don't accept bids over my head. He still needs a bit of development on his technical stats but has progressed well this past season. I'm hoping to keep him for his career so he becomes a club legend, already has a few records at the minute.

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Not got my budget for next season but i cant imagine I'll be making as many transfers this time hopefully i can pick up a few free agents to boost the numbers a bit and add a bit of experience.

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Wow, liam, what a superb season you had! A great promotion, and excellent return from your two main strikers, Sutton and Alzapiedi. That was quite an overhaul of your squad, but it worked, so well done!

Portsmouth season 2 update...

March 2015

Hartlepool 0-4 Portsmouth (Harris, N’Koyi, Baldwin own goal, Colclough), League 1

A fantastic start to the month, we dominated from start to finish and fully deserved this.

Portsmouth 1-0 Preston (Baptiste Martin), League 1

A much tighter affair, with my central defender converting a set-piece late on for maximum points.

Portsmouth 1-3 Crewe (Holman), League 1

A very frustrating day. We took the lead just before HT, then got hit by three late goals in quick succession against a mid-table side. Our stuttering home form remains a concern.

Sheffield United 2-2 Portsmouth (Padovani, Colclough), League 1

We raced in to a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first half, but in the end got pegged back. The Blades were 4th, so it's still not a bad result after the previous fixture.

Portsmouth 1-0 Stevenage (N'Koyi), League 1

Our visitors have been comfortably ahead of us all season, but this narrow win keeps them slightly visible in the distance. To be fair, we achieved it against the run of play.

Portsmouth 3-1 Walsall (Harris, Murphy x 2), League 1

This looks comfortable, but we trailed until the final 15 minutes, and then stunned them with three late goals. This was a much bigger struggle than it appears.

Another mixed bag of results. We were doing very well at the start, before another disappointing home defeat checked our progress. We bounced back with three good results, and finished the month in 3rd place. We have 73 points from 41 games, and after our victory over them, the gap to 2nd placed Stevenage has narrowed to it's smallest all season - six points. Huddersfield have played 40 games, and have 93 points (scoring over 100 goals, and with a GD of +51).

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Wow, liam, what a superb season you had! A great promotion, and excellent return from your two main strikers, Sutton and Alzapiedi. That was quite an overhaul of your squad, but it worked, so well done!

Thanks, looks like you are going well too, do you think you will manage to catch Stevenage or will it end up being the play-offs for you?

Portsmouth are doing great on my file too, they finished the season unbeaten in 16 with 11 Wins to take the 2nd automatic promotion place out of nowhere and ended up 15 points ahead of 3rd place despite being projected 20th.

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Thanks liam, I don't think we will catch them and not that confident when it comes down to the play-off's. To be fair, Stevenage will be very unucky if they don't hang on.

In one way, I really want promotion, due to our poor financial status and the ability to attract better players, and hopefully with a higher maxiumum wage - currently a key player can be offered only £2k p/w. On the other hand, I quite like a slower, more realistic progression. If they did it in your save, I guess it's possible...

Hopefully your budget will be satisfactory in season 3, it's more a case of wage allowance and not so much the transfer kitty. Good luck in that respect.

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So I have tonight started my new save game and did in fact change my mind at the last minute. Instead of going as Burnley I have chosen to take charge of Huddersfield...at least for now :p.

Big update to come tomorrow morning. Sneak preview is 3 loans from a Premier League team and a player leaving for 2million so far....

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@bfc, you've certainly taken steps to improve your defence looking at those signings! Pert is a superb fitness coach, and I have Hardyman on the staff at Portsmouth. Ronnie Ekelund, that name is a blast from the past. Good luck.

@Plainlayzee, good to see you have settled on your team and made a start. Alarm clocks are being set across the nation awaiting your morning update from t'ut Town :p

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Hi everyone, great to read people playing Football League games. I have started as Wolves which feels like a bit of a cop out but I have decided to try to run it as I would like to run a club, focusing on young players, reducing costs and living within means. How practical that will be long term we'll have to wait and see.

In that spirit I sold Johnson, Stearman, Foley and Sigurrdsson in pre-season for £6M combined and bought Tom Hateley (195k) and Ash Taylor (750k) from Tranmere, Rob Kiernan (115k) from Wigan and James Keating (60k) from Hamilton. I also signed experience Brazilian midfielder Paolo Assuncao on a free transfer and loaned Ross Jenkins from Watford, Jordan Obita from Reading, Pajtim Kasami from Fulham and Shane Duffy from Everton.

Then in January I sold Elokobi for 500k and replaced him with a loan signing of Florian Marange from Sheffield Wednesday and also signed Marc Albrighton from Villa for £45.5k.

All that made me Champions 22 points clear of Brentford in second place with Ash Taylor a stand out signing with an average rating of 7.30 at centre half and Jordan Obita being a key man averaging 7.28 and scoring 15 goals from left wing. Kasami scoredd 11 goals from right wing. I played 4-1-2-2-1 with Assuncao as an anchor, Edwards and Davis central, Obita and Kasami wide with the former as a winger and the latter as an inside forward. Influential young players were Matt Doherty at right back and Anthony Forde who was important support for the central midfield pairing.

I should have good budget in the Championship but want to be loyal to those who got me up, perhaps try to sign one or two of the loan players as well, and move on the high earning likes of Doyle and O'Hara if I can.

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I was a bit surprised myself but they wanted rid and I wanted a long term option for the wing having mainly covered them with loans. Wolves weren't too impressed initially presumably because he came from Villa but I think they will see the value longer term.

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@mistrollingin, welcome and congratulations on a fantastic first season.

I like the signings of Obita and Kasami, the former is always great value on the left. I'm quite surprised you could get Kasami from Fulham to a League 1 club, though I guess Wolves are seen more as a Championship club due to reputation. Likewise, Albrighton is a great signing for that level - and a bargain fee. He always seems to be available in FM but must have been on quite a big wage? With his ability to play both flanks, I'm wondering if he was your bench option or how did you manage to fit in the three of them together?

Whilst Wolves could be seen as bit of a cop out in that there is no way you shouldn't get promoted, I also plan to try and return them to former glories at some stage. The challenge and appeal with them is not season 1, but subsequent campaigns. Like you, I would try to off-load the big earners and try to rebuild them with youngsters, until such point as more worthy 'better players' can be recruited to blend in with the young HG talent.

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Albrighton arrived in January do for the first half of the season it was just Obita and Kasami, backed up by Ismail who is a useful young player for the right side and Sako although he was injured a fair bit. I had thought that I might sell Sako in January as there was a bit of interest and replace him with Albrighton but the sale never happened. As a result Albrighton made several substitute appearances and also filled in both right and left sides when needed. i expect him to play a bigger role in season 2.

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Update to my Coventry Save - the Chairman is wanting more high profile signings than I am currently giving him - as I am trying to play it as realistic as I can after a tycoon has taken over! So I managed to sign Robbie Keane on a free until the end of the season - he is yet to score. I have also managed to sign Glenn Whelan on a free after he was out of contract from stoke.

I am 2nd in the league and have a 1 goal lead in the south final of the JPT. Also have Everton in the 5th or 6th in the FA Cup.

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So that start as Huddersfield went well...played right up until the night before the start of the season, pressed save and it crashed mid save and won't re load.....re-start needed! (queue long post in a moment)

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So as you know I am going to shortly be starting (again) as Huddersfield.

Before I start I decided that I need to have a serious look at the squad. We are predicted to finish in/around the relegation zone and, after last seasons 19th place finish, it is something that we will need to work hard to escape. I do believe however that if I can get a few additions into the squad and get key players performing than we can push up the table.

First things first we need to make sure we have a healthy bank balance and I am a bit of a cheap skate as/when I can be. Wages at the club seem high with a number of what appear to be fringe players earning extremely good money, although it is probably only average for the division. Depending on what additions I can bring into the club, the likes of Anthony Gerrard, Oscar Gobern and Keith Southern are top of the list of potential sales at the moment. Gerrard I know I can potentially sell for around 2m which may give me a bit of money to play around with in the transfer market.

The idea will be to play a fluid possession based football, although I know with the players we have at the moment that may not be possible. Sometimes a more direct approach works in this division and therefore I will probably try that for now until I have changed some of the squad members.

In goal we are fine, Alex Smithies is one of the best young goalkeepers around for me and Ian Bennett provides adequate cover. Bennett will be asked to start working on his future coaching career with a view to moving him to be a member of staff next summer.

At the back, Gerrard, Clarke and Lynch provide us with good options, although as stated above there is a chance I may let Gerrard go to raise some funds. Clarke is getting on a bit but his stats still seem OK, especially his leaderships stats. Young Murray Wallace also seems like a good prospect and could get some game time if he can perform. At full back we are short to say the least, with only 1 possible option on either side and to be fair those options aren't great. Paul Dixon seems like a good player but has no attacking qualities to note. A loan signings who can cover both sides would be ideal for the squad.

In midfield we have Norwood and Clayton who can certainly move the ball around in the middle although other than them we are limited for options, the same is with the defensive midfield position were we only really have Chris Hogg who can fill that role. Again, a player to come in and provide cover for these positions would be ideal. If we want to start introducing some passing football then perhaps this is something to consider when making a signing. A good deep lying playmaker who can dictate the tempo of my play would be great.

In the attacking wide positions we are fine, Adam Hamill and Sean Scannel have plenty of experience despite their age, as does Martin Paterson who has played in this division for years. Young Danny Ward seems to have it all, brilliant stats and the potential to be even better, however, his contract expires 1 year into the game and it would appear he is reluctant to sign any sort of new deal. He may have to be someone that I keep for the best of the team this year and then lose for nothing next summer.

Up front again we are a bit light. James Vaughan will be the key man and someone I will aim to build around although I don't know just how injury prone he will be on the game. Hopefully he won't be as prone as in real life. The returning Jon Stead should provide good cover and can score some goals, but at 30 his game time will probably be limited. A youngster from a premier league club could be the answer hear. Someone who I can use as/when needed but does have a goal in them.

As you can see we aren't in a bad position, just some tweaks here and there needed to make us have a better quality squad.

I will hopefully get my save fired up tonight and will post another update tonight/tomorrow once I have played a bit.

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@mistrollingin, that makes sense. Shame about Sako and his injury status, he should have been a star at L1 level. I always try and get a winger who can play both flanks, ideally as a bench option but also able to start on either side. Albrighton is definitely able to give you that ability, similar to Pilkington.

@velvetsky, I remember taking Keane back to Coventry last year as a player/coach, but didn't get a great goal return from him. One of my important philosophies at any club is to try and sign club legends/icons/favoured personnel and other important people from the club's past, either for the pitch or as staff members. Hopefully you are not forced too far down a route that you don't fancy, but Whelan should be a decent addition.

@Plainlayzee, that's a real pity about the crash - hopefully you will be alright on the second attempt. It's given you time to review the squad and plan your strategy, which is always a useful thing. I look forward to hearing about your signings and sales - especially as I had already decided to try and guess who your three PL loanees were! In my game, your boys were relegated in season 1 but have already won League 1 with a crazy points tally - and Vaughan has been legendary. I don't know how youngster Holmes is rated in FM, but he seems to be a talented prospect. I'm also interested in Lynch, as he is one of a small number of left-sided central defenders that are on my radar for Portsmouth next season. I always like to have a player who can cover the full-back slot too, and he seems a fair option.

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@mistrollingin, that makes sense. Shame about Sako and his injury status, he should have been a star at L1 level. I always try and get a winger who can play both flanks, ideally as a bench option but also able to start on either side. Albrighton is definitely able to give you that ability, similar to Pilkington.

@velvetsky, I remember taking Keane back to Coventry last year as a player/coach, but didn't get a great goal return from him. One of my important philosophies at any club is to try and sign club legends/icons/favoured personnel and other important people from the club's past, either for the pitch or as staff members. Hopefully you are not forced too far down a route that you don't fancy, but Whelan should be a decent addition.

@Plainlayzee, that's a real pity about the crash - hopefully you will be alright on the second attempt. It's given you time to review the squad and plan your strategy, which is always a useful thing. I look forward to hearing about your signings and sales - especially as I had already decided to try and guess who your three PL loanees were! In my game, your boys were relegated in season 1 but have already won League 1 with a crazy points tally - and Vaughan has been legendary. I don't know how youngster Holmes is rated in FM, but he seems to be a talented prospect. I'm also interested in Lynch, as he is one of a small number of left-sided central defenders that are on my radar for Portsmouth next season. I always like to have a player who can cover the full-back slot too, and he seems a fair option.

Haha I would love to know who you thought those players were? The 3 loan players from the premier league? Be mighty impressed if you can get them to be honest!

Lynch should be interesting yes, the thing is his stats don't need that good (not amazing anyway) but I do quite like a back 3/back 5 in which case a left footed player is ideal. Will let you know how he gets on.

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Haha, maybe I shouldn't try that challenge! I reckon it was Gerrard that you sold for £2m, and I think that a RB was probably one of the loans, my guess being Flanagan. The others depends on the positions, but possibly a striker and another central defender?

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Haha, maybe I shouldn't try that challenge! I reckon it was Gerrard that you sold for £2m, and I think that a RB was probably one of the loans, my guess being Flanagan. The others depends on the positions, but possibly a striker and another central defender?

Yikes, 2 out of 2 so far.....centre back and a striker I loaned too....guesses?

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Haha, I should quit whilst I'm ahead :cool:

You may have returned to Liverpool, so I'm going to predict in order of likelihood: (1) Ilori (2) Wisdom (3) possibly Miquel from Arsenal as your CB. And then (1) Hodzic (2) Henriquez (3) Berahino for the striker. I dismissed Vellios/Guidetti because I think they would demand more football than you might want to give them.

I also think my career as a mind-reader has finished as quickly as it started...

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Haha, I should quit whilst I'm ahead :cool:

You may have returned to Liverpool, so I'm going to predict in order of likelihood: (1) Ilori (2) Wisdom (3) possibly Miquel from Arsenal as your CB. And then (1) Hodzic (2) Henriquez (3) Berahino for the striker. I dismissed Vellios/Guidetti because I think they would demand more football than you might want to give them.

I also think my career as a mind-reader has finished as quickly as it started...

Haha not a bad effort sir, It was Flanagan, Wisdom and Adam Morgan all from LFC - but good effort. Now get back to FM, trying to be a mind reader doesn't suit you :p.

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I didn't even think of Morgan to be honest. Hopefully nobody will start a new thread called 'guess the name of my new signings'. I don't think it will catch on!

Time to bow out now, and because it's night time already, it might be back to FM. Although I'm not sure that suits me entirely either...

I'm hoping to finish season 2 at Portsmouth today or tomorrow.

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Portsmouth season 2 update...

April 2015

Rotherham 1-0 Portsmouth, League 1

The penultimate month started off with disappointment, as we rarely threatened to take anything home.

Huddersfield 0-1 Portsmouth (Murphy), League 1

A fantastic and surprising away win at the home of the runaway champions, although a Camp penalty save before the break preserved our first-half lead.

Portsmouth 1-1 Port Vale (N'Koyi), League 1

For some bizarre reason, only one of our last five matches was at home - but despite taking the lead, we could only take a point from it.

Rochdale 0-2 Portsmouth (Padovani, Murphy), League 1

A much better display, and a deserved victory. Unfortunately, 2nd placed Stevenage also won, and so remained five points ahead of us with just one game to go.

May 2015

Bradford 1-1 Portsmouth (Holman), League 1

There was nothing riding on this, as we had already booked our play-off spot weeks ago. Still, I was pleased we battled back to take a point.

So, the end of the regular season was upon us, and we hadn't done enough to close the gap any further on Stevenage, who claimed second spot behind Huddersfield. We finished 3rd and now take on Bolton over two legs, whilst Bristol City (4th) and Leyton Orient (5th) will contest the other semi-final. Fair play to Huddersfield, who were almost literally in a different league, with 34 wins, 112 goals, and 106 points. Stevenage also deserve their promotion, as they were always a healthy distance ahead of me.

I haven't played the fixtures against Bolton yet, but here is the table after 46 games. We had the best defence in terms of goals agaiinst, and a very impressive away record - only three defeats all season - but the home form could have been much better. Relegated were MK Dons, Shrewsbury, Crawley and Bristol Rovers, who finished rock bottom.

SkyBetLeague1_OverviewStages-2_zpsbe72bb7f.png

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Hoping to have found a save that I get really get into. Having tried and failed to get into a number of saves on FM14 already.

The team I have chosen is Doncaster Rovers. Not sure why, possibly because I like managing in the Championship and they're one of the smaller fishes. Completed pre-season and a couple of competitive games but first off I'll start with expectations and budgets.

The board are expecting me to avoid relegation in the league whilst reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup and Second Round of the Capital One Cup. Of which we've failed to progress in the Capital One Cup. Falling at the first hurdle losing to Rochdale away 3-2. I did make eleven changes to the starting line up and many to the subs. Anyway, back to budgets. The board have give me £79k or so wage budget along with a transfer budget of £150k. I joined and the club was spending about £72k a week. The board have also put a restriction of £2.5k for a key player.

Incoming we see thirteen players join the club with not a single penny spent on transfer fees. Those players are;

Rodolfo Bodipo - 1 year deal worth £1.5k a week plus other clauses. There's also an extension after 15 league games.

Adam Nkasu Landu - 5 year deal worth £600 a week plus other clauses.

Josh Rees - 5 year deal worth £600 a week plus other clauses.

Simon Dawkins - Season loan paying £750 a week.

Papa Bouba Diop - 1 year deal worth £1k a week plus other clauses. There's also an extension after 15 league games.

Yven Moyo - 5 year deal worth £500 a week plus other clauses.

Eddie Nolan - 1 year deal worth £1.4k a week plus other clauses. I have the option to extend that by a season.

Morgaro Gomis - 2 year deal worth £2.5k a week plus other clauses.

Stephen Hunt - 1 year deal worth £2.5k a week plus other clauses. One year extension after 15 league games.

Daniel Devine - 5 year deal worth £600 a week plus other clauses.

Pablo Ibanez - 1 year deal worth £2.5k a week plus other clauses. One year extension after 15 league games.

Rob Kiernan - Season loan paying £500 a week.

Donervon Daniels - Season loan paying £1k a week.

Jamie McCombe - Activated one year extension clause.

I also managed to offer new deals to a few other players.

Outgoing we saw the following leave;

James Harper - £85k to release from his contract.

Paul Keegan - £300k to Bournemouth.

David Cotterill £650k to Burnley.

I've also loaned out a number of youngsters. Keegan isn't a bad player to have, especially as he's quite determined and willing to work for the team which is what I'm aiming to do. However, he was out of contract and wanted more than I was willing to give. Cotterill wanted about £5k extra on top of his current contract. So with that in mind I offloaded him before he would be able to go for nothing. I've had Wigan bid for Chris Brown but it didn't meet my valuation so I rejected it.

There are a couple of senior players like Turnbull, Wellens, Jones and Coppinger out of contract at the end of the season. All are on large contracts and whilst I wouldn't mind keeping Turnbull at this present moment in time. I'm going to wait and see what happens.

I've recently managed to get all my transfer budget turned into wages so beforehand we were about £600 under. We're now about £10k under. I'm trying to bring in a marquee signing but currently that is proving difficult. Even after asking the board. I'm sure you can all work out who it is. Upon on moving my transfer budget, we can now offer bigger wages to some players.

The board have already granted me a £2m improvement of the clubs youth facilities whilst improving our junior coaching. They have just rejected my training facilities request though. We've had an increase in staff members as a number of new backroom staff have joined the club. The two scouts that start off at the club have departed. As has Paul Butler, one of the coaches. Incoming we have seen the following staff join;

Nick Marshall(HoYD)

James Quinn(Under 18s Ass Man)

Frank Nuttall(Fitness Coach)

Terry Mitchell(Coach)

Iwan Roberts(Coach)

Michael Watts(Coach)

Dave Singleton(Under 21s Physio)

Chris Malkin(Under 18s Physio)

Glyn Chamberlain, Laurent D'Jaffo, David Geddis, David Hamilton, Paul Montgomery, Ian Storey-Moore & Gavin Tait(Scouts)

I have managed to get Paul Stancliffe and Paul Wilson to sign new deals to continue their work with the under 18s. I am still in the process of signing a couple of staff for the under 18s. Just tried signing Shevchenko but we couldn't afford him.

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Great detail Forest and I hope you will be enjoying your time at Donny. I've no idea who your marquee signing would be - Billy Sharp?

I've just gained promotion from League 1 with Portsmouth, which from a financial point of view, was very welcome. I wouldn't have been unhappy to have another season in the same division, because I'm getting close to the point where the unwanted senior players contracts are about to end, and the U21 and U18 players would have been ready to step up as cover in the first team squad. That might not be possible now in the second tier, so I will have to re-evaluate what I do during the summer now. Hopefully I will at least be able to reduce the number of loan players, and bring in some slightly better quality.

Play-Off Semi Final, 1st leg - Bolton 0-2 Portsmouth (Holman x 2)

With Harris ruled out by injury, any doubt over whether Holman should retain his place alongside N'Koyi was eliminated. And he certainly delivered in style with two second-half goals. The first was a lovely volley after a nod down by N'Koyi, and then he forced home a rebound after Butler's free kick struck the bar. It was a much better result than I expected, and set us up nicely for the return at Fratton Park.

Play-Off Semi Final, 2nd leg - Portsmouth 1-2 Bolton (Baptiste Martin)

Our place in the Final was booked after a 3-2 aggregate win, but we very nearly messed it up in disastrous fashion. Leading comfortably at the break when my on-loan French central defender converted a free-kick by Butler, it seemed impossible to imagine anything other than success. But Bolton then struck twice before the hour mark, then hit the bar, had numerous good chances saved by the impressive Camp, and finally had an 85th minute goal disallowed for offside as I watched in dismay. In the end we made it, but not in style. An easy task was made in to something too dramatic for my liking - and now I would be worrying about how that would affect us against Bristol City at Wembley.

Play-Off Final, Wembley - Bristol City 0-3 Portsmouth (N'Koyi x 2, Holman)

I was rocked by the news that Colclough was unavailable for the Final because of England U20 duty. What?!? This was the 56th game of the season, and he had started 48 on the right wing, plus made a handful of appearances from the bench. And I have no other natural right winger. I entrusted the job to Wallace, who had been unable to break back in to the starting line up in central midfield after his three month injury, but I also changed the role from attacking winger to supporting wide midfielder. I was concerned the balance of my familiar 442 might be compromised but had no other choice.

In front of 51,579 fans at Wembley, we reached the interval at 0-0, with neither team able to make the breakthrough. N'Koyi again proved to be my talisman, breaking the deadlock after 53 minutes and putting us in pole position. But even I could never imagine that after 60 minutes the contest would be done and dusted. Holman bundled home a scruffy effort from a scramble in the six-yard box after 57 minutes to double the lead, and N'Koyi delivered the final nail in their coffin after 60 minutes, to seal the deal. That was it, no more drama, and we cruised home after that to complete a second successive promotion.

Here is a summary of the stats, in appearance order, for all competitions. Mason made quite a few appearances from the bench, but never started, whilst Bradley and East featured just a couple of times, as did my hot prospect striker, Conor Chaplin.

Aaron Martin achieved the highest rating at the club for the second successive season, justifying my decision to make him captain. The team selections were very consistent, apart from injury disruptions (the worst were for Ferry and Wallace, three months each) and the occasional international absence (for Camp and N'Koyi). The only real rotation was for the striking partner of N'Koyi, who had a very reasonable first season with us. Not only did he notch 22 goals in 41 league appearances, but he also did well for DR Congo after making his debut this season. The team (442), would generally be: Camp; O'Connor, B Martin, A Martin, Butler; Colclough, Wallace/Padovani, Ferry, Murphy; N'Koyi, Harris/Holman/Woodrow.

Portsmouth_SquadPlayers-5_zpsc03ebb3e.png

PatrickNKoyi_OverviewAttributes_zps1543c8fd.png

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Great detail Forest and I hope you will be enjoying your time at Donny. I've no idea who your marquee signing would be - Billy Sharp?

I've just gained promotion from League 1 with Portsmouth, which from a financial point of view, was very welcome. I wouldn't have been unhappy to have another season in the same division, because I'm getting close to the point where the unwanted senior players contracts are about to end, and the U21 and U18 players would have been ready to step up as cover in the first team squad. That might not be possible now in the second tier, so I will have to re-evaluate what I do during the summer now. Hopefully I will at least be able to reduce the number of loan players, and bring in some slightly better quality.

Play-Off Semi Final, 1st leg - Bolton 0-2 Portsmouth (Holman x 2)

With Harris ruled out by injury, any doubt over whether Holman should retain his place alongside N'Koyi was eliminated. And he certainly delivered in style with two second-half goals. The first was a lovely volley after a nod down by N'Koyi, and then he forced home a rebound after Butler's free kick struck the bar. It was a much better result than I expected, and set us up nicely for the return at Fratton Park.

Play-Off Semi Final, 2nd leg - Portsmouth 1-2 Bolton (Baptiste Martin)

Our place in the Final was booked after a 3-2 aggregate win, but we very nearly messed it up in disastrous fashion. Leading comfortably at the break when my on-loan French central defender converted a free-kick by Butler, it seemed impossible to imagine anything other than success. But Bolton then struck twice before the hour mark, then hit the bar, had numerous good chances saved by the impressive Camp, and finally had an 85th minute goal disallowed for offside as I watched in dismay. In the end we made it, but not in style. An easy task was made in to something too dramatic for my liking - and now I would be worrying about how that would affect us against Bristol City at Wembley.

Play-Off Final, Wembley - Bristol City 0-3 Portsmouth (N'Koyi x 2, Holman)

I was rocked by the news that Colclough was unavailable for the Final because of England U20 duty. What?!? This was the 56th game of the season, and he had started 48 on the right wing, plus made a handful of appearances from the bench. And I have no other natural right winger. I entrusted the job to Wallace, who had been unable to break back in to the starting line up in central midfield after his three month injury, but I also changed the role from attacking winger to supporting wide midfielder. I was concerned the balance of my familiar 442 might be compromised but had no other choice.

In front of 51,579 fans at Wembley, we reached the interval at 0-0, with neither team able to make the breakthrough. N'Koyi again proved to be my talisman, breaking the deadlock after 53 minutes and putting us in pole position. But even I could never imagine that after 60 minutes the contest would be done and dusted. Holman bundled home a scruffy effort from a scramble in the six-yard box after 57 minutes to double the lead, and N'Koyi delivered the final nail in their coffin after 60 minutes, to seal the deal. That was it, no more drama, and we cruised home after that to complete a second successive promotion.

Here is a summary of the stats, in appearance order, for all competitions. Mason made quite a few appearances from the bench, but never started, whilst Bradley and East featured just a couple of times, as did my hot prospect striker, Conor Chaplin.

Aaron Martin achieved the highest rating at the club for the second successive season, justifying my decision to make him captain. The team selections were very consistent, apart from injury disruptions (the worst were for Ferry and Wallace, three months each) and the occasional international absence (for Camp and N'Koyi). The only real rotation was for the striking partner of N'Koyi, who had a very reasonable first season with us. Not only did he notch 22 goals in 41 league appearances, but he also did well for DR Congo after making his debut this season. The team (442), would generally be: Camp; O'Connor, B Martin, A Martin, Butler; Colclough, Wallace/Padovani, Ferry, Murphy; N'Koyi, Harris/Holman/Woodrow.

Portsmouth_SquadPlayers-5_zpsc03ebb3e.png

PatrickNKoyi_OverviewAttributes_zps1543c8fd.png

Congratulations on securing promotion Jogo, very impressive stuff. Lucky you getting it to easy in the final as well, a nice comfortable 3-0 win there. Out of interest, did you put a suit on and play god save the queen before the match kicked off? :p.

Patrick Nkoyi looks to be a bargain signing for you, where did you get him from again? It'll be interesting to see if he can make the step up. I assume you will also be tying him down to a new deal as his current contract expired in a years time?

As for your winger not being able to play in the play off final, this is something that has come up before within the forums I think. For some reason the game doesn't seem to read that you still have a game to play in your season and your internationals, especially your under 21's, just go off on international duty! I am sure I saw someone have a similar thing happen but with Will Hughes at Derby (their best player!!)

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Completed my pre-season and first few games of the season last night and so far it's not exactly going to plan!

First things first is transfers. I needed to reduce the wage bill slightly and clear out a bit of the deadwood to raise some additional funds so out went Oscar Gobern (Barnsley 250k) and Anthony Gerrard (2.2m Crystal Palace) as well as a number of youth players on loan to lower league teams. I thought the 2.2m for Gerrard was a good deal and I can hopefully use some of those funds to improve the team.

Incoming is where we have really struggled to be honest. I really wanted to improve the defensive side of things, in particular find cover for the full back positions but as of yet we have been unable to do that. Numerous bids have gone in for players only for them to either way high wages or to choose another club over me. Flannagan and Wisdom both chose Derby and Leeds (I think it was Leeds anyway) and even a young Spaniard I found lurking in someone's reserves chose to go to Brentford!

The players I have managed to bring in so far are John Lundstram on loan from Everton, Adam Morgan on loan from Liverpool, Max Clayton from Crewe/Newcastle on loan and young Lewis Milne (70k Cowdenbeath).

Firstly Lundstram, he was brought in to provide extra cover for the centre of the pitch. He can play some good football and seems to have something about him despite his age, so I will look forward to seeing how he develops of the course of the season. Adam Morgan is very similar to Lundstram really.

Max Clayton was signed by Newcastle United for 2.2m after weeks and weeks of talks and bids going in. The day after he officially signed for them, I decided to throw in a loan bid to Newcastle on the basis that I only pay around 20% of his wages. This was accepted and he signed for me 2 days later! Effectively I have got myself a 2.2m striker on loan :-).

Lewis Milne is a very interesting signing. My scouts seem to think he can be Premier League quality, he was wanted by Celtic and Arsenal and has chosen Huddersfield....what an idiot!! Anyway, Celtic bid 20k for him, Arsenal bid 40k and I decided to jump in at 70k. My bid was immediately accepted with the others rejected. Following me offering him a contract, Celtic did up their bids to 30k and then 45k but still this got rejected until he eventually chose to sign on the dotted line. I'm not saying he is going to be the best player in the division this year, but he is certainly one for the future and some I am looking forward to developing on and off the pitch.

I would still like to bring some bodies into the squad as we are a bit thin on the ground, in particular in the defensive areas. There just doesn't seem to be anyone out there at the moment so it may be a case of waiting until the end of the window to pick up a bargain.

Next up are the staff.

I decided to mutually terminate a number of staffs contracts, including coaches, the director of football and youth development manager.

Incoming are Martyn Pert (fitness coach), Barry Whitbread (scout), Steve Kember ( New assistant manager), John McMahon (coach from Tranmere), Joe Corrigan (GK coach) and Nick Marshall (youth development).

I did have applications from Dario Gradi and Steve Kean but I couldn't afford their wages unfortunately. Dario would of been brilliant for the Head of Youth Development position but he wanted in excess of 3k p/w whereas Marshall only wanted £800 and himself has some very good stats.

The season begins....

Nottingham Forrest 1 -1 Huddersfield Town

The season started with a tricky away trip to Nottingham Forrest. Sorry that should say big spending Nottingham Forrest, who have spent 4m in the summer on a number of players, including 1.8m Billy McKay who looks likely to score a lot of goals in this division. After we took an early lead from a Joal Lynch header, Forrest pegged us back and dominated most of the second half before eventually snatching the equaliser with 15 minutes left.

Huddersfield Town 1 - 2 Morecombe (league cup first round)

I would love to sit here and pretend I played a bunch of 17 year olds, but in fact I didn't. I decided the game against Morecombe was a good opportunity to get some confidence up and get a good result on the board. How wrong I was!! Despite having 64% possession and 23 shots at goal compared to their 3, we somehow managed to lose the game 2-1. Lundstram scored out only goal of the game with a close range finish after some good work down the wing from Adam Hammill, but most of the players simply failed to perform, with James Vaughan and Oliver Norwood both being dragged off due to their poor performances.

Huddersfield Town 1 - 1 QPR

A much better effort from the lads who fought back well after going 1-0 down early on. We weren't outclassed by QPR's big money team and could really of won the game in the end. Some positives and something to build on going forward.

I would put a league table update on as it is so early in the season.

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Cheers Mr Layzee. You know what, I knew I hadn't taken the PO Final seriously enough, I feel ashamed not to have dressed properly for the occasion or found the National Anthem on You Tube. I didn't even have a shave - though I did get a haircut for the occasion yesterday!

N'Koyi was signed on a Bosman free from Fortuna Sittard in Holland (2nd tier club). I'm not sure how he will handle the Championship, but will be looking to offer him a new contract. I found in this version that most players don't agree contracts longer than two years, although most seem to allow a 'one year extension clause' without any concerns. For years now, I've always looked to offer long-term contracts to important players, primarily because my strategy is always to get younger guys in and move on the seniors. This usually allowed me to have the player during their best years, and also helped to control and stabilise the wage budget. Given the shift in willingness of players to accept three, four and five year deals in FM14, and now that agent fees and loyalty/bonus payments are taking a hefty slice from the transfer kitty, it's definitely harder to manage at this level these days. Fair point on the unavailability of players for PO Finals, although it's not as bad as the MLS was in FM13, where all international fixtures and tournaments took precedence over your regular matches and totally decimated your squad!

Good to see you under way with Huddersfield again. I agree that £2.2m for Gerrard was a great deal for your club, although it's a shame that you couldn't get Wisdom or Flanagan this time. Both of them would have been ideal and realistic players, capable also of giving some versatility across the defensive positions. Hopefully your four new signings will contribute to the cause, although it looks like you are in serious need of more/better defenders. I'm sure you have a contact book full of names and numbers, so good luck with that! I always look to re-shape my backroom team too, and you have some good, reliable people there with you now. If the signing of Wells goes through IRL, will you be wishing you had waited until after the final update before taking them on? Him and Vaughan in attack would certainly be a lively partnership. Anyway, always good to read your updates sir, enjoy the challenge!

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I have rattled through a fair few games so far and the transfer window, so this could be a big one!!

Following my last update, I have decided to switch back to my old style updates rather than match by match (mainly to save me time!!)

Following the QPR result we went away to Millwall and fell to a 2-0 defeat, a game in which we never really got going at all and some of our defending was comical. We were determined to bounce back and did so in some style. A 5-0 home win against Bournemouth with James Vaughan getting a superb hat trick. Finally our season seemed to of kick started. August ended with a 1-1 draw away to Barnsley, a last minute equaliser no more than we deserved as we hit the woodwork 4 times!

TRANSFER WINDOW DEADLINE DAY!

As I said in my previous post, we were struggling for options, lacking a solid spine to the team and perhaps running out of targets, however, my aim was always the deadline day sales.

Firstly we brought in two Yeovil Town players. Ed Upson and Luke Ayling are players that I have managed on FM 2013 and were key performers. Ayling can play right across the back 4 and in the holding midfield role if needed whilst Upson adds some steel to the middle of the park, and also a nack of scoring a goal or two. Both were signed for 400k per player, therefore not taking a massive chunk out of my transfer budget.

Leaving the club was Sean Scannell. A player who had been frankly awful since the start of the season departed to Wigan Athletic for 700k. A decent offer I thought for the youngster who could be quality if he put the effort in.

To replace Sean was incoming ex premier league and England player David Bentley who joined on a 2 year deal. We are paying David around 10k p/w which is very high, however, I believe he can add something to our team and at worst has a decent re-sale value. 3 quality players added to the team who can now hopefully help us push on.

September

September started with a hard fought home win against Doncaster Rovers. Ed Upson scoring on his debut from 35 yards. This was followed up by another win, this time 2-1 at home the Charlton. Two games and two wins since the transfer window, the team looked a lot better in the last two games. Next up we travelled to Blackburn and unfortunately fell to a 3-1 defeat, they simply had more quality than us in particular in ex player Jordan Rhodes who scored twice.

The month ended with another high scoring game, this time 3-2 against Blackpool.

October

October has been a disaster so far, firstly a 1-1 draw at Middlesborough who sat bottom of the league at the time, followed by a 0-0 at home to fellow mid tables Watford. A clean sheet being the only positive. A further bad away day this time 2-0 at Leicester made it no wins in 3, and that was extended to 4 when we drew 1-1 at home to Leeds United.

Vaughan is off form again as is the back 4. Perhaps a change of formation on the horizon.

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Great detail Forest and I hope you will be enjoying your time at Donny. I've no idea who your marquee signing would be - Billy Sharp?

I've just gained promotion from League 1 with Portsmouth, which from a financial point of view, was very welcome. I wouldn't have been unhappy to have another season in the same division, because I'm getting close to the point where the unwanted senior players contracts are about to end, and the U21 and U18 players would have been ready to step up as cover in the first team squad. That might not be possible now in the second tier, so I will have to re-evaluate what I do during the summer now. Hopefully I will at least be able to reduce the number of loan players, and bring in some slightly better quality.

Play-Off Semi Final, 1st leg - Bolton 0-2 Portsmouth (Holman x 2)

With Harris ruled out by injury, any doubt over whether Holman should retain his place alongside N'Koyi was eliminated. And he certainly delivered in style with two second-half goals. The first was a lovely volley after a nod down by N'Koyi, and then he forced home a rebound after Butler's free kick struck the bar. It was a much better result than I expected, and set us up nicely for the return at Fratton Park.

Play-Off Semi Final, 2nd leg - Portsmouth 1-2 Bolton (Baptiste Martin)

Our place in the Final was booked after a 3-2 aggregate win, but we very nearly messed it up in disastrous fashion. Leading comfortably at the break when my on-loan French central defender converted a free-kick by Butler, it seemed impossible to imagine anything other than success. But Bolton then struck twice before the hour mark, then hit the bar, had numerous good chances saved by the impressive Camp, and finally had an 85th minute goal disallowed for offside as I watched in dismay. In the end we made it, but not in style. An easy task was made in to something too dramatic for my liking - and now I would be worrying about how that would affect us against Bristol City at Wembley.

Play-Off Final, Wembley - Bristol City 0-3 Portsmouth (N'Koyi x 2, Holman)

I was rocked by the news that Colclough was unavailable for the Final because of England U20 duty. What?!? This was the 56th game of the season, and he had started 48 on the right wing, plus made a handful of appearances from the bench. And I have no other natural right winger. I entrusted the job to Wallace, who had been unable to break back in to the starting line up in central midfield after his three month injury, but I also changed the role from attacking winger to supporting wide midfielder. I was concerned the balance of my familiar 442 might be compromised but had no other choice.

In front of 51,579 fans at Wembley, we reached the interval at 0-0, with neither team able to make the breakthrough. N'Koyi again proved to be my talisman, breaking the deadlock after 53 minutes and putting us in pole position. But even I could never imagine that after 60 minutes the contest would be done and dusted. Holman bundled home a scruffy effort from a scramble in the six-yard box after 57 minutes to double the lead, and N'Koyi delivered the final nail in their coffin after 60 minutes, to seal the deal. That was it, no more drama, and we cruised home after that to complete a second successive promotion.

Here is a summary of the stats, in appearance order, for all competitions. Mason made quite a few appearances from the bench, but never started, whilst Bradley and East featured just a couple of times, as did my hot prospect striker, Conor Chaplin.

Aaron Martin achieved the highest rating at the club for the second successive season, justifying my decision to make him captain. The team selections were very consistent, apart from injury disruptions (the worst were for Ferry and Wallace, three months each) and the occasional international absence (for Camp and N'Koyi). The only real rotation was for the striking partner of N'Koyi, who had a very reasonable first season with us. Not only did he notch 22 goals in 41 league appearances, but he also did well for DR Congo after making his debut this season. The team (442), would generally be: Camp; O'Connor, B Martin, A Martin, Butler; Colclough, Wallace/Padovani, Ferry, Murphy; N'Koyi, Harris/Holman/Woodrow.

Portsmouth_SquadPlayers-5_zpsc03ebb3e.png

PatrickNKoyi_OverviewAttributes_zps1543c8fd.png

What is Josh Murphy looking like mate?

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Well were up! Coventry win the league 1 title with 99points - we also win the Johnstones paint trophy against Sheffield utd.

A busy transfer window trying to strengthen for the challenge of the championship. with the money the tycoon has pumped into the club I had a very nice budget of 20million. I feel I spent wisely and didn't go mad. Only bought in the positions I needed to. a new Gk was needed after my backup wanted to leave - a new left back from peterbrough, I managed to sign on a permanent deal for katuta on a free from my parent club Chelsea. Robson kanu from Reading,guidetti from man city on a free, Sefan Bell from german club mainz, extended Akue from arsenals loan as well as Darren Fletcher on loan. all good players with not a lot spent the problem is wages - I am projected to overspend the FFP restrictions at the end of the season - but I am hoping I will go up so these restrictions don't apply - however I am trying to sell some players just to bring this down - also the board are looking into ways they can help with sponsorship etc (much like PSG)

after 5 games we are top of the championship we have an excellent squad and I am hoping to go up this year (otherwise with FFP we may well be in some trouble)

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Sorry I've not posted in here recently. I wanted to muck around with tactics so I had a very small play with Liverpool to do this, then my laptop has died and gone off for repair.

I'm getting quite severe FM withdrawal symptoms now.

I'm hoping that I'll still have my Plymouth save when I get it back and can carry on rejuvenated now I've had a break. Failing that, taking over a relegated Aston Villa in the same save sounds kind of appealing! And technically within the scope of this thread. :p

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Nice update Mr Layzee, and a fairly modest transfer window. I say that in a positive way, as it's good to see you retaining the core of the original squad. You weren't tempted to try and pick up Wells? Hopefully results will pick up soon, good luck!

Congrats velvetsky, and good luck in the Championship. A very risky strategy to gamble on promotion against FFP, it will be interesting to see what happens.

MeesterCat, sorry for your PC woes. I myself have had severe battery issues for about a month, but if I start to tell the story about that ongoing issue here, it will be even longer than my normal posts! It will be good to have you back posting soon, hopefully at Plymouth. I had a long look at Purrington, Nelson and Hourihane for Portsmouth season 3, but decided I had enough 'developing L2 players' and should concentrate on a higher class of player to push me along in the Championship.

I've just passed the end of the August 2015 transfer window, and will update on my progress and fairly decisive action in the transfer market, shortly. On that note, Reggae, I will do a squad review and try to put up a screenie of Murphy for you.

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MeesterCat, sorry for your PC woes. I myself have had severe battery issues for about a month, but if I start to tell the story about that ongoing issue here, it will be even longer than my normal posts! It will be good to have you back posting soon, hopefully at Plymouth. I had a long look at Purrington, Nelson and Hourihane for Portsmouth season 3, but decided I had enough 'developing L2 players' and should concentrate on a higher class of player to push me along in the Championship.

Cheers fella. Although it's Harvey you need to keep an eye on :p

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Hi all - normally I'm a top league only kind of guy, but after reading your posts over the weekend, i have started a wolves save on version 14.2.1.

Easing myself in slowly doing a Wolves save as at least i will have a familiarity with the team and should with the current squad get promoted first season - oh how wrong could i have been! Senior players not happy with new manager, experienced players Johnson/Doyle/O'hara concerned with lack of management experience at this level. so before a balls kicked, a formation cohesive, a player bought/sold i've already got the players on my back and the fans have questions about who i am!

Its like Wolves is a cattle market as have had to fight off bids for the majority of my players but at the end sold the following

Carl Ikeme - liverpool 1.4million (400k upfront the rest of 36months)

George Elokobi - reading 900k over 48months

Danny Bath - C Palace 2m (500 up fonrt the rest of 48months)

Ismail - 500k over 48months to Arsenal, plus by back of £1m plus 50% sell on plus friendly - not going to play as don't use wingers, has great potential and may progress at arsenal youth set up better, have buy back and sell on so its a no lose for me

Give me a wee kitty to work with on top of the 500k already there. But the bids i turned down as want to keep a spine were

Stearman - 1.7mill stoke

Johnson - various between 500k and 1.4m from various prem teams

D Davis - celtic up to 2m in various clauses

Foley same as Davis

Sako again same as Davis

!

Bought / signed

Nuno Gomes free

Derek Boyata man city 750k (500 over 48months and 250k after promotion)

Kevin Walker from sweden somewhere lol M/AMC 50k and stupid minimal add on's - was great in FM20013 as a back up player in the prem so should be more than enough for League1.

End of Sept, top of league - put Southampton out of carling cup on pens, still in Johnson trophy with no injures - will update once i get to Jan window!

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Welcome along WI5ARD and good luck with Wolves. Batth was very good on FM13, hopefully you won't regret that sale. They obviously have a very strong squad, so it should be a fairly routine task to get them promoted, but there is a challenge to reduce the wage bill. An interesting fact about Kevin Walker: he used to take time off from football to go and perform as a singer, won Swedish Idol 2013, and landed a recording contract (he still combines music and football). Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I do NOT follow Pop Idol in any country, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

OK, back to football, and a summary of my start to season 3 at Portsmouth...

Transfers In: Joshua Murphy (Norwich, loan extension), Mats Daehli (Molde, loan), Evander Sno (ADO Den Haag, £20k), Anthony O'Connor (Blackburn, free), Isak Sswankambo (Chelsea, free), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield, free), Stipe Perica (Chelsea, loan), Riyad Mahrez (Chamois Niortais, £80k), Yuval Shpungin (free agent), Jonathan Soriano (RB Salzburg, loan £18.75k p/m fee), Baptiste Martin (KV Kortrijk, loan).

Transfers Out: John Sullivan (free), Tom Craddock (free), David Connolly (free), Danny East (free), Kim Jae-Heon (free), Sonny Bradley (Morton, free), Andy Barcham (Exeter, loan), Lewis Horsburgh (Bath, loan), Jack Whatmough (Fleetwood, loan), Adam Webster (Crewe, loan), Jack Maloney (Eastbourne, loan), Mark Pelosi (Newport, loan), Bradley Tarbuck (Chelmsford, loan).

Staff Additions: Andrea Loberto (U21 Manager), Enzo Scifo (coach), Dave Watson (coach), Mark Dempsey (coach), Roberto Gemmi (scout).

Staff Departure: Alan McLoughlin (released).

Squad review 2015/2016

Goalkeepers: An area of the squad that I decided to leave untouched. Lee Camp will remain first choice, but Aaron McCarey is an able deputy and will continue to get first team action during Cup competitions, and when Camp is away on duty for Northern Ireland. The youngster is also designated as my U21 starting 'keeper.

Defenders: My back-four all made more than 50 appearances last season, and have the opportunity to do the same again. After two successful years on loan, I have finally been able to sign Anthony O'Connor permanently when his contract at Blackburn expired. Competition at right-back will come in the form of Yuval Shpungin, a current Israeli international with a decent number of caps, so O’Connor may also get some opportunities in the centre. In the middle, club captain Aaron Martin will be a key player again, and I have also re-loaned his reliable partner, Baptiste Martin, from KV Kortrijk following a solid season with us last year. Joel Lynch, a left-sided central defender is another option following a free transfer move from Huddersfield, and he will also provide cover for my regular left-back, Dan Butler. In reserve we have youngsters Adam Webster and Jack Whatmough, who have featured this season but were granted short-term loans at their request, and a raw talent in Isak Ssewankambo, who was taken from Chelsea and joins my U21 squad.

Midfielders: The central positions will be assigned to the usual trio of Simon Ferry, Jed Wallace and Romain Padovani, with back-up from Joe Partington. Added to this pool are ex-Celtic midfielder Evander Sno, and young Norwegian prospect Mats Daehli. The Dutchman joins for a modest fee and has a chance to try and fulfil the promise he showed earlier in his career. The young Norwegian should offer some creativity in a variety of midfield roles whilst on loan, and is a similar type to Ryan Mason. The left-flank will again be served by Joshua Murphy, back for a third year on loan. However, I also purchased French left-winger Riyad Mahrez, who will challenge him strongly for that honour. There is a lack of a natural right-winger, but I will make mention of that a little later.

Strikers: After an impressive first season, Patrick N’Koyi will again be expected to deliver goals, whilst Ashley Harris and Dan Holman remain in the mix. Also arriving on loan, we have Stipe Perica, a highly-rated young Croatian from Chelsea, and Jonathan Soriano. The Spaniard was once at Barcelona and has a superb scoring record for RB Salzburg amongst others, so should be able to justify the monthly loan fee required to secure his services.

Those that got away: I include this just to throw up some names that other managers may want to consider, and to give more details on what really took place during the off-season. Hopefully it's something that some of you don't mind reading.

In defence, I came close to landing Dwight Tiendalli, before settling on Shpungin for a further right-back option. Leeds accepted a transfer fee for Jason Pearce to take the central left-sided role, but he would not lower his wage demands and I turned to Tommy Spurr instead. He agreed a free transfer but I thought the overall costs were too much, meaning Lynch got the spot. I still wanted a strong, starting centre-back, and Efe Ambrose was the man identified. He was available on a Bosman deal and after lengthy negotiations he eventually agreed my offer - before sadly choosing another option. My second choice was Tomislav Barbaric from Croatia, but his club wanted way above his current value. My last real attempt was for Chico Flores, stuck in the reserves of my new parent club, Swansea. A loan deal was within reach but when he decided to head back to Spain, I settled on a renewed loan for Baptiste Martin instead.

In midfield, the Swans also accepted my offer for Liam Trotter, but he wasn't interested, whilst Jordan Veretout was priced out of my reach despite being in Nantes reserve side. I wanted to re-loan Ryan Colclough for the right-wing, but Liverpool weren't allowing it. Middlesbrough did accept a transfer fee for Albert Adomah, but he would not accept my maximum wage, whilst free agent Jamie Paterson did accept my offer, but then took a better deal elsewhere. Napoli would not allow their youngster Gennaro Tutino to leave on loan, and although Craig Noone did agree terms, I had reservations about the wage demands of the free agent and cancelled the deal at the last minute. I have taken a decision to use wide midfielders for this role, in a less attacking 'supportive' manner, but might consider using Mahrez on his 'wrong side' if the need for a second winger becomes necessary.

In attack, my prime target had been Toto Tamuz (an interesting case of residency), and I put a mountain of effort in to making a package he would accept. Unfortunately his work permit was refused, even on appeal, and I had to look at other options. Spurs then accepted £100k plus some small add-on extras for Jermain Defoe, but he wouldn't even talk to me - neither would Anthony Martial after Monaco agreed my loan offer. In the end Perica, and in particular Soriano, seemed reasonable recruits.

On the pitch, the early part of the season

I scheduled a very short pre-season with just three fixtures, and althought it went well, N'Koyi and Aaron Martin were injured in the first. My top two men would miss four weeks and three weeks respectively, including the big kick-off. Unfortunately, August brought further injury strife as Ferry (three months), O'Connor (two weeks), and Soriano (two months) woud also become unavailable. Due to the £18.75k p/m loan fee, I considered terminating Soriano's loan - but eventually decided against it as he had already grabbed a couple of goals in his first few matches. After a delayed start, N'Koyi returned and fired three league goals by the end of the first month. Unfortunately, he then suffered another injury and will be missing the next four weeks, as will Evander Sno who get taken off in the same game. It may be time to recall some of the youngsters that I allowed to leave on short-term loan deals, although my U21 squad is strong, so I do have some other youngsters available for selection. We are in the top six after the first six league games (scoring and conceding more than I expected), but were knocked out in Round 2 of the Capital One Cup.

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@ WI5ARD - Welcome to the made house, I hope you enjoy you save and enjoy the forum

@Jogo - I was tempted by Wells yes but they wanted 2.2m for him and I simply couldnt pay that at the time. Perhaps a January target if I have the funds and need the fire power but at the time I just needed bodies to bulk the squad up.

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Ah, I see, and you only had about £400k to start with? If it's any consolation, he was available for free at the end of season 2 in my game - your patience may be rewarded! Hope you're enjoying it so far.

I was just doing a mammoth update. Like you, I can't really do a match-by-match report now, but in 'the windows' it's a good time to write more, also at the end of the season.

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