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[FM16] If I had a Nicol for every goal, I'd have just over six dollars

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

You know how I said that I thought Celtic were nigh-on unbeatable? Well...

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We'll play them twice in the space of a week, first in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final, and then in the League Cup Final. In the days before the Quarter Final, we also have Rangers. Two weeks that will probably make or break our season.

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Oh really, I finish page 18 - go off for a cigarette and to make a coffee - then return to find just the one post on Page 19. I was catching up after 2-3 weeks not reading... Gutted!

Enjoyed the move away from minnow-land and return to Scotland.

I did wonder where on earth England had got to - absent in the World Cup you played with China?

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Oh really, I finish page 18 - go off for a cigarette and to make a coffee - then return to find just the one post on Page 19. I was catching up after 2-3 weeks not reading... Gutted!

Enjoyed the move away from minnow-land and return to Scotland.

I did wonder where on earth England had got to - absent in the World Cup you played with China?

You're right actually, they did fail to qualify. They finished second in their qualifying group, six points adrift of Turkey who won all of their games. That left them a point away from qualifying from the second placed table, meaning they missed out.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

But what's this? Just as I move into the most important period of my Thistle career so far, this comes up.

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Clearly the unfinished business I have in Asia is giving quite a choice. I said earlier that Scotland offering me the job proves that International Management isn't completely busted. I'm not really feeling South Korea, same as I didn't when I made the decision to go to the US instead way back. But Australia...

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Go on then. I'm breaking my own rule by dual managing, but given the issues I've had with getting these jobs, I'm not going to pass up this opportunity. It'll give me a choice to make further down the line whether I decide to pursue an international job instead. For now, I'm happy doing double duty.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

February Results

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So nearly the perfect month. With a cup double header against Celtic coming up, a heavy defeat against their cross-town (and ours I guess) rivals isn't the best preparation.

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Two points behind Rangers now, and we would've been four ahead had we beaten them. Big missed opportunity. Just three games left to go before the split. We've secured a top half spot already though, so that pressure's off. Just a Europa League spot to secure now.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Youth Intake

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A big fat meh. Tom Scullion's attributes don't look too bad, so maybe he could make something of himself further down the ladder

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Excellent choice of national team :cool:

Nearly at the turn of the century! Got a New Years' party planned?

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Excellent choice of national team :cool:

Nearly at the turn of the century! Got a New Years' party planned?

Thought you'd like it. It's been a target for a while, Australia have become consistently one of the better nations in Asia, and I've got a nice four year stint ahead of me. The Asian Cup has just finished, so it's a four year journey until the next one. In the meantime, it's the World Cup qualifiers for the next two years or so, and (hopefully) the World Cup itself the Summer before the Asian Cup. I'll only be staying until after that one, just the one tournament attempt. Although to be honest, if I do fail then I'm kind of running out of nations in Asia I could realistically achieve it with. South Korea are the only ones left really (I don't think Japan are manageable in the save)

Also, another problem with international management, New Zealand - along with every other Oceania nation - are unplayable. I don't think enough players have been loaded, so one of the legs I need to win is most definitely not achievable unfortunately

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Scottish Cup Quarter Final

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Unbelievable!

We've rarely been able to lay a glove on Celtic since I arrived, nor has anyone else, but we've done more than that. A brilliant opening half-an-hour-or-so saw us race into a 3-0 lead, and even a quick reply after the 3rd couldn't shake them from their slumber. They pretty much camped in our half for the second half, but it wasn't enough. We roared into the semi final, and after putting out the massive favourites, could we go all the way?

Before that though, there'll be a chance for Celtic to get revenge at Hampden next weekend in the League Cup Final.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

League Cup Final

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Jock Stein! Dermot Desmond! Gerard Butler! Leigh Griffiths! Ronnie Deila! Brendan Rodgers! Peter Lawell! Rod Stewart! Can you hear me Rod? Your boys took a hell of a beating!

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Yeah, I think he heard me.

It's not quite the absolute battering we handed out in 1971 in the same fixture against the same opposition, but what a wonderful performance. We didn't have it all our own way like the Scottish Cup game, and it was a lot closer, but we still came out on the right side of it on penalties. Twice they went ahead in normal time, and twice we pegged them back. We forced extra time, and then went behind again after just three minutes. But once again we fought back with a 117th minute equaliser to force penalties. Level up to the 5th round. Ricardo Leal missed his, and Dan Way didn't.

The Cup is ours.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

March Results

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Just the one game that I haven't covered, and it keeps the pressure up at the top of the table. The Rangers defeat really set us back though.

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Celtic aren't mathematically away from us yet, but it's very unlikely we'll get near them. Only five points to the Champions League places though. I can't help but remember the last time I faced the split in this kind of position though, ironically with Partick Thistle. Archie Glengarrie completely blew the chances of the title in a crazy seven game spell. Will Bobby do the same?

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International Results

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A good enough start to life with Australia, although the jet lag is troublesome. Tom McGarry is getting on a bit, but it's clear he's going to be extremely important over the coming years.

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And this is very interesting. For context, the 2nd round of qualifying is the first round that the big teams enter, and we've probably been given one of the biggest. South Korea will prove difficult opposition, as could Qatar. Although outside of that, we shouldn't struggle. Qualification is almost assured, even if South Korea get the better of us, but it's not as easy as it could've been.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

April Results

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A bitterly disappointing defeat to Queen of the South really dented our hopes, but at least we turned it around a little with three points away in Dundee.

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Queen of the South now sit in second, and look big favourites for Champions League football next season. There's also a chance that they could catch Celtic, with only six points separating them. The chasing back are five points behind Queens - ourselves and Rangers - but in our case we're looking over our shoulders to Dundee United. The minimum target is to hold them off and get 4th, satisfying the requirements set out to me by the board. Although we could still get into Europe via the Scottish Cup if we win it.

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It doesn't get any easier. We'll face a Cup Semi at Hampden against Queen of the South before heading to Dundee for a massive game. Win that and we should be able to start looking upwards. Lose, and we could be in trouble. Two wins from the first two games could really see us rise as much as two defeats could see us fall. If we get three wins from three...well it's then on to Queen of the South and Celtic with dreams in our heads.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Scottish Cup Semi Final

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Nerves settled by a very early goal, but we were made to wait to get the party started. 80th minute saw pandemonium in the stands, and we're off to a very unlikely Scottish Cup Final. Ooft.

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It just had to be, didn't it? We've dispatched Celtic already, along with current 2nd placed side Queen of the South. Of course we'll be going after the Blue half of Glasgow next.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 1

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As mentioned, we're facing Dundee United in a key game. Celtic and Queen of the South face off, and I'm not sure what we're hoping for. I don't think we'll catch Celtic, so probably a win for them. Would be good for Forfar to grab a win too.

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It was always going to be, wasn't it? A draw suits us more than it does Dundee United, but it's still not a great results for us in general terms. Luckily Rangers also dropped points, and Celtic got the win against Queen of the South. They're now almost certain to lift the trophy.

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Rangers are massively ahead on goal difference, but we're still level on points. A win is a must in the next game.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 2

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Celtic could hand us a huge boost with a win, but we could throw the pressure back in our faces if Rangers beat us.

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Does any team really want to climb the table? Celtic once again won their game, but it was two draws elsewhere in the top half. Which means...

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Queen of the South still five ahead of ourselves and Rangers, who are still locked on the same points. We do move further away from Dundee United, 4 points of a gap now with three games to go.

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Oh you're all just too kind.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 3

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It couldn't really have gone worse, could it?

Rangers beat their bitter rivals at Parkhead to take a massive step towards Champions League football, while Dundee United absolutely smashed Queen of the South. And after being handed probably the easiest game of the split (on paper) we fell apart.

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I think we might blow this. We now face the teams in 2nd and 1st, and although we've beaten both recently (Celtic twice) it's still going to be a big ask to better Dundee United's results. Having said that, two wins could see us still finish 2nd providing Queen of the South lose their other remaining game, and Rangers lose both. It's unlikely.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 4

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(well would you Adam and Eve it, my link has been censored. To see the results, substitute in a naughty word that rhymes with but, and change the t to uppercase)

For those that don't care, results were Forfar 2 - 3 Celtic, Queen of the South 0 - 2 Partick Thistle, and Rangers 0-0 Dundee United

Well, well, well. We might just have stumbled to some success.

Rangers and Dundee United both dropped points while Celtic won the title. But it was our hard-fought 2-0 win at Queen of the South that really put the cat amongst the pigeons. So...

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We remain in 4th, and it's back in our hands. If we can beat Celtic, then we'll finish at least 4th. Then it comes down to other fixtures...

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Rangers face Queen of the South, so 2nd for us hinges on just two things - a win for us and a draw in the other game. That would see us take 2nd on goal difference from Queen of the South, with Rangers finishing fourth. Dundee United's result against Forfar would then become irrelevant.

A win for either side in the Rangers/Queens game would see them take 2nd, with us grabbing third if we can win too. So we'll be praying for a draw there.

If we manage to lose against Celtic though, 4th is obviously our highest possible finish. We could be pipped by Dundee United if they win and we lose, regardless of scorelines.

Clear? Let's go then.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 5

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In the end, it was all a bit of a damp squib. Queen of the South scored early and absorbed heavy pressure to secure 2nd place. We fought hard with Celtic, but couldn't quite get in front at any point. Their 91st minute winner was probably justified, but that ended up not really mattering as Dundee United went all Challenger. The worst team in the top half produced a wonderful performance in a 4-2 win, condemning United to 5th and handing us 4th despite our defeat.

We're in the Europa League in one of the qualifying rounds. We can upgrade that with a win in the Scottish Cup Final, but for now it's job done.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.png

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Scottish Cup Final

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For some reason, Hampden has been expanded, which is something that's pretty much impossible to happen in real life as far as I know. Especially when the owners (or not, it's a long story, a boring one) Queens Park are hardly swimming in money to do the expanding. Still, it means we're almost a 74000 sell-out. Lovely.

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We both come in as clubs who have stumbled into their respective league positions, but I'd expect this one to be a good game. We've beaten Rangers this season, and they've beaten us. We've won one, lost two and drawn one, so we've definitely got a chance, but Rangers remain favourites.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Scottish Cup Final

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Oh, here we go again...

WALTER SMITH! ALLY MCCOIST! CRAIG WHYTE! DAVID MURRAY! CHICK YOUNG! JIM WHITE! CAN YOU HEAR ME JIM WHITE?! YOUR BOYS TOOK A HELL OF A BEATING!

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Yeah, once again, he heard.

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And confirmation that we've upgraded our Europa League participation to go straight into the group stage. Brilliant news.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Post-season

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 1



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So much for Qatar causing a threat.

An easy win for us and a good way to start off the matches that really matter.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 2



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A massive result for this group, and one that gives us an early advantage over South Korea in the race for qualification. Best second placed sides do factor in, so they should be fine, but always better to just qualify top instead.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Thought you'd like it. It's been a target for a while, Australia have become consistently one of the better nations in Asia, and I've got a nice four year stint ahead of me. The Asian Cup has just finished, so it's a four year journey until the next one. In the meantime, it's the World Cup qualifiers for the next two years or so, and (hopefully) the World Cup itself the Summer before the Asian Cup. I'll only be staying until after that one, just the one tournament attempt. Although to be honest, if I do fail then I'm kind of running out of nations in Asia I could realistically achieve it with. South Korea are the only ones left really (I don't think Japan are manageable in the save)

Also, another problem with international management, New Zealand - along with every other Oceania nation - are unplayable. I don't think enough players have been loaded, so one of the legs I need to win is most definitely not achievable unfortunately

Have you got the Australian League loaded? Wellington Phoenix are a New Zealander team based in the A-League, if active perhaps they could produce enough youth players to make the national team playable (assuming it works like that... I think I've seen national teams become playable after their national pool increases but I could be wrong).

Would also love a screenie of the Australia squad if you've got one handy! Maybe some key players too if you have time, McGarry looks decent from the pic you posted and looks to be a goalscoring machine too!

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Have you got the Australian League loaded? Wellington Phoenix are a New Zealander team based in the A-League, if active perhaps they could produce enough youth players to make the national team playable (assuming it works like that... I think I've seen national teams become playable after their national pool increases but I could be wrong).

Would also love a screenie of the Australia squad if you've got one handy! Maybe some key players too if you have time, McGarry looks decent from the pic you posted and looks to be a goalscoring machine too!

Hmm...that's actually a good point. I did have the league loaded when I was managing there, but since removed it. Maybe be able to resurrect them if I load it again, will give it a try.

As for the screenshots, once again I've raced ahead in time. Will see if I've got a save around the time I'm updating. Or I might have screenshotted it at some time in the future (I always do at least a general sense of the squad before major tournaments at the very least)

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

qxkLCcV.png

Before we head back to club football, there's one more match for Australia. We smashed Cyprus in Nicosia, and Tom McGarry once again looked amazing. Actually quite positive about this side's chances in the World Cup.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

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Quite the rise from our "natural" place in Scotland as we sit 7th in terms of reputation. Quite surprising that Forfar are now above such usual top sides as Hibs, Aberdeen or Motherwell. Aberdeen especially with their history. Hearts aren't even listed, as they've had an absolute nightmare. Rangers have also fallen out of the top two sides in the country, with Celtic leading the way.

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Unchanged expectations from last season, with the board asking for quarters in both cups, Europa League qualification through the league, then...anything, I guess, in the Europa League itself. Could we pull up any trees there? I doubt it.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

Transfers

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Cesar Garcia

Justin Morris

Jim Herron

Scott Knight

Jake Perkins

Stuart Curtis

Dominic Manning

Cameron Dodd

Pietro D'Apice

The "Out" column doesn't quite tell the whole story, as most of our players left before the new season ticked in when their loan contracts ended. This is the big issue I'm having at Thistle, in that we don't have the money to buy players outright, and we don't have the resources to rely on the players we make ourselves yet. So we have to sit back on using the loan system, and take the hit that we're going to lose and have to replace great players on a yearly basis.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

Transfers

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Francisco Pelayo and Tom McCarthy join us in August. This is basically down to Lukic picking up a serious injury which will see him missing until around Christmas. We were already pretty short, and I planned on bringing in one more forward anyway. With him out, that makes two.

Europa League Draw

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A tough one. Looking at the sides, the Portuguese actually look the toughest opponent. We'll do well to get a win here.

August Results

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Holy results slide, Batman!

A dreadful start to the season sees us pick up only 5 from 15. Let's hope it's just a blip, and our usual slow start.

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Could be worse.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 3



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Another easy three points, keeping our advantage over South Korea. Well and truly on the road.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 4



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South Korea sat out a matchday while we faced our easiest game. Lost the clean sheet unfortunately, but who cares at this point? Three more points opens up a six point gap at the top at the half-way point. We'd do well to throw this away now.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

September Results

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Well there goes our League Cup campaign. We won it last year, but this time we're out at the first hurdle, on penalties to Aberdeen. Awful.

We recovered in the league though, two wins out of two, sandwiching an expected - but narrow - defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

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Now this is a more "interesting" result. We're ruling Asia, but this puts our talents into perspective. Probably the sort of result we needed to bring us back down to Earth.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 6



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Another dominant win, although South Korea are certainly putting on the pressure. The way the other sides in the group are, they're probably going to win their remaining games against them. Beat us too and they could yet still overtake us.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 12

Take me down to Kingsley Town, Matilda

October Results

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Well look who's flapping his mouth again? Last year Cuesta started talking about me, saying that I should be sacked, and we promptly beat them 4-0. You'd think he'd learned his lesson, but alas, no.

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And this is why he was speaking about me. An absolutely dreadful month, two league defeats and two European defeats, and then we came up against Dundee. We won. of course, because there's no way we're going to lose to a side managed by that tool.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 7



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Big win for East Timor, which of course was the only story today.

Oh aye, and we beat South Korea 6-4 in a game that had everything. But who cares about that.

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Two games to go, just one point needed now to qualify top of the table. We've just beaten our closest rival convincingly for a second time, so I suspect we're OK.

Line-ups

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 8



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Oh East Timor, you little mugs. South Korea finish strongly, but it's just too late for them. Tom McGarry once again showed just how important he is to us. That's 101 goals in 103 appearances. Unbelievable.

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Line-ups

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Confirmation of qualifying for the final stage, and also qualification for the Asian Cup, which is really the important one right now.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



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Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

November Results

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We've turned a bit of a corner. Just one defeat out of three in the league, and we even won a Europa League game! All far too late of course, as there's no chance of us qualifying for the next round. It's given us a bit of a boost though.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

December Results

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A wonderful month compared to some we've had. Only defeats to Celtic and Queen of the South, with the former being pretty narrow.

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Hard to believe, but we're actually up in 3rd after what I can only describe as an awful start to the season. We always finish well (at least until the split starts) so will be interesting to see how we go in the new year.

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Didn't really know what to expect from this experience, but two wins - including one over table toppers - is a not bad return. It's now up to me to make sure we qualify for the competition next season, then we can see if we can improve.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Transfers

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Pete Eldridge joins us on loan to fill a gap we have on the left of midfield.

January Results

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Much better. January sees us unbeaten in the league, and progressing in the cup. Maybe this season won't be that bad after all.

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Rangers have completely fallen away from Celtic, who are once again running away with the league. That does mean that 2nd isn't quite out of our reach. That would be massive for us financially.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Youth Intake

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February Results

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Once again we appear to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Those two defeats to close out the month may well have ended our hopes of 2nd realistically.

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Just a little note to inform those still reading. Once again, I've found myself pretty far behind where I'm actually playing the game, but I'm a lot more hopeful than the last time I made this kind of update. National team jobs seem to have resolved their issues, so I'm back to aiming for as many of the trophies as I can. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to manage New Zealand (Australian league is in the process of being added, so we'll see if that helps).

So! Here's the up to date standings, as I can't remember when I last posted them. Those in red I've already achieved. Europe and the global trophies are untouched for reasons. I'm with Australia currently, so hopefully I can cross off the Asian Nations Cup with that one. Then I need to hope for one of the South American nations to become available, or Mexico. Given I've already failed with the USA, Mexico are the best option. I could try with a smaller nation, but then I'm massively for the easy way out. Then it'll be New Zealand if I can make them available.

But after that, what's my plan? I'm on the lookout for a club in Europe that I can take a one season tilt at the Europa League with. I expect I may have to hit England for that, which I'm loathe to do, but needs must. It'll be purely a one year thing, win or lose. But it's still my intention to keep the Champions League, the World Club Cup, the European Championships, the Confederations Cup and the World Cup until last, probably in that order. And I don't mind giving a slight spoiler as to the club I had in mind. As you'll see over the next few posts as I catch up, there have been a few clubs that I've tried to get a job with, setting out some wonderful vision as to how I can bring the European Cup back to them. But for various reasons, I've not done that. So there's only one club now, one absolutely perfect choice that someone has already mentioned.

Bobby Nicol spent the last eleven years of his career with one club, to the point where you can almost call him Italian. The one job I'm going to be looking out for is the Juventus job. Also just happens to be the club I completed my FM13 attempt of the Tetradecagon with. It couldn't be more perfect. From there, I'm torn between completing the final European and World tournaments with either Italy or Scotland. Italy would be a nice continuation of Bobby's story, but then so would Scotland. I'm leaning towards the latter, making Bobby a World Cup winner as both a player and a manager with the same nation, and taking the three-part career full circle. That's still a wee while away though.

World

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Club Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup

Africa

African Champions League

African Cup of Nations

CAF Confederations Cup

Asia

Asian Champions League

Asian Nations Cup

AFC Cup

North America

CONCACAF Champions League

CONCACAF Gold Cup

South America

Copa Libertadores

Copa America

Copa Sudamericana

Europe

UEFA Champions League

UEFA European Championships

UEFA Europa League

Oceania

Oceanic Nations Cup

Oh, and one last thing. I've made the decision that once Bobby achieves his objective, I'll be ending the main parts of this story. A trilogy is good, anything more would just be too much.

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So I'm late catching up with this, but:

So, the Waiver Draft. I believe this is a chance for all the clubs in the MLS to compete to sign players that have been let go by their previous club. It's often a good chance to pick up some fringe players, but obviously you're competing for players deemed not good enough by some of your rivals.





Correct. It's basically players who are let go because they're not good enoguh.

Yeah, the re-entry draft. I'm not quite sure what it does. I believe it's those left over after the previous waiver draft, but not sure.

In general, MLS player contracts are structured as a series of option years. So you might sign a player to one year plus three options years.

If a club chooses not to exercise the option on a player, he goes into the re-entry draft. If a team takes him in the first round, they have to pick up that option (so if he has a club option to play next season at $150,000, the selecting club has to pay him the $150,000). If he isn't selected until the second round, the selecting team can negotiate a new deal (so maybe they negotiate a $100,000 salary with the player)

In practice, players are rarely selected in the first round because of having to pick up the full terms of the option year.

I briefly mentioned the slavery aspect earlier, and I wasn't joking. Above is a list of all the players whose "rights" we own. Usually, this doesn't really become a problem. These players will play in the lower tiers of American football (I'm not calling it Soccer) and carve out nice careers for themselves. Most of them will never reach MLS level though. Is that because they're not talented enough? Most of the time, yes. But that's where this horrible rights thing comes in.

Essentially, you can be in the situation where you see a brilliant free agent player. You've scouted him, he looks great, and he's a big improvement on what you have. And he's a free agent! You go to sign him, but there's no option to just offer him a contract. Instead, you've got to go and negotiate with the club that owns his rights. Annoying, but OK. You try and negotiate, but the club won't budge. They don't want to give up the rights to this player for some reason. Note, at this stage, the player isn't playing for a club. There's a club that wants to sign him, but he can't do that because another club - who doesn't want him as a player remember - doesn't want that to happen. It's an absolutely maddening thing, and something that seems a bit horrible in real life.

Yeah, it's roughly similar to the "reserve clause" that European football had before the Bosman ruling, except it only applies to MLS. Players whose MLS rights are held by an MLS club can still sign with any non-MLS club, whether in the US or overseas.

Designated players...right, so every club appears to be given two designated player slots. In earlier versions, I think you could permanently buy a third slot, and that was that. It appears that now, you have to keep buying the 3rd slot at the start of each season, with the money raised being distributed amongst the sides who decided to just keep 2. So far, so communist. I decided to buy a third, as even though we only have one at the club, the way designated players work you can fill them much more easily than normal players. There are fewer contract restrictions, and you can toss as much money as you want effectively at clubs for players that will absolutely destroy the league.

This has been tweaked IRL. There's now a distinction about designated players who are aged 24 or younger, and if you use your third DP slot on one of those lads then you can waive the charge to buy the third slot.

And so we come to the Superdraft, the one-time festival of awesomeness that a lot of clubs leaned on. Nowadays, I believe that it's importance is lessened purely because you can go to South America and pick up a much more talented youngster whose willing to play for peanuts. Literally. Dumbinho only asked for his weight in peanuts.

But in the FM world, it's still a big thing. If you get an early pick, you can add a very highly rated youth to your side that can immediately make a difference. If you're a late pick, however, you get to compete for the sort of players that you see getting kicked in the air in the Scottish Lower Leagues every week.

Above you see the mock draft, which I see having no relevance whatsoever. It does show me what I could win though, and apparently I'm getting the swarthy Hector Ramirez.

Correct, the SuperDraft has lessened in importance as more emphasis is being put into academies now. IRL, Dallas has about 9 of their starting XI being academy products.

This is my favourite part of the draft. The time when Ace faces off against Chaos, and bitter rivals X and Control take to the field. Oh so American. In case you hadn't guessed, this is where everyone involved in the draft gets assigned a team and goes out to impress. It's actually quite a nice way to do it, to have organised "trials" where the teams can watch who they'll be picking. I imagine they're a pretty big deal, or at least were when the draft was a big deal.

Yep, the combine brings together all of the players who are in the draft pool. IIRC, Ruud Gullitt left after 45 minutes of the first game. Probably helps explains why his tenure in Los Angeles was short and comical.

I believe the combine is still sponsored by adidas, which explains the batshit crazy names.

Finally, we have our youth intake. But, again, it's not your usual youth intake. Because this is 'murica.

These players are essentially assigned to your affiliate side. If you want any of them, you need to sign them up to contracts.

Yes. In the past few years, MLS and USL (our third-division league) signed an agreement that allows MLS clubs to either sign an affiliation agreement with a USL side (allowing them to send up to 4 players to the USL club) or fielding a full "B" team in the USL. Most clubs now are going with the full B teams but there are a couple like San Jose that are still just in affiliation agreements.

FWIW, here's the full list of MLS squad rules and regulations: http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/roster-rules-and-regulations

(and I think FM hasn't even replicated the general allocation/targeted allocation money rules :D)

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Nice idea on Nicol's final years.:) I believed that Bobby Nicol will try to succeed everything and to honor his hometown when he collects his final piece in his collection. What happened to Nicol's former teams during his career in Partick Thistle? I hope that Nicol could walk away with his dreams come true.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase Round 8



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One more game left in our World Cup Qualifying Group, but it's essentially just a procession now. A good chance for players to boost their goal tallies, and of course Tom McGarry did just that with another hat-trick. Naturally.

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Still one more game left to play for the rest of the group, but we can now put our feet up and await the draw for the final stage.

Match Report

Match Ratings

Match Stats

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Australian Duty

World Cup Qualifying Second Phase



6iGQMp9.png

And like magic, here's the results of that final round of games. Well, the table after said results anyway. South Korea finished off winning every game that wasn't against us, and qualified in second place well clear of their nearest rivals. The other three sides ended up not really being worth talking about unfortunately.

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And there we have it, the final qualifying phase. 12 nations are left in it, with 4 (and a bit, courtesy of a play-off) spots available in the World Cup. Looking at World Rankings, we should be sitting pretty, and given our nearest rivals (probably) are a side we've just beaten twice, I'm looking forward to this. Iran will be the other danger side.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

New Contract

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I signed another one, but to be honest my heart isn't in the three years. I wanted to just take a one year extension to give me a little time to think, but given contracts mean absolutely nothing in FM, I guess there's no issue with signing a contract I may not keep to. I could well do, but the way my time with Partick Thistle is going, I'm not sure if I'll just be slogging away for the right to finish 2nd or 3rd to Celtic and someone else. We'll see.

March Results

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It took two goes, but we finally made it past Forfar Athletic and into the semi final of the Scottish Cup after 210 minutes of football couldn't separate us. Penalties could though, and we advance. Still a chance of retaining our trophy. Another two wins in the league, including three priceless points against Celtic thanks to a Lukic hat-trick. The dream's alive.

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Despite that win, Celtic seem just too far ahead to be caught. But once again we go into the final games before the split dreaming of a higher finish. We absolutely must get two wins here. If we do that, we go into the split right on Rangers' tail, and we could well get a Champions League spot. We're seven ahead of Queen of the South at the moment, but that lead isn't big enough to be cut down.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

April Results

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Seriously. **** this team. We're so dreadfully inconsistent. We've now beaten both Celtic and Rangers multiple times, so we've clearly got it in us. But then we go into two must-win games and completely **** the bed. Dundee United I can kind of understand, but we should not be losing to a team that is going to end up bereft in the bottom half.

As you can see from the table, Champions League football is now all but lost. Dundee United are on our tails and could well send us down to 4th before the season is out. Very possible that we could drop completely out of the European places too, which could well see me punted before I get the chance to leave myself.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Scottish Cup Semi Final

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I have no words. It's all falling apart.

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Chapter 3 - If I had a Nicol for every time I've scored, I'd have about six dollars

The Octadecagon Experiment



1754.pngffa-logo.gif

Chapter 3 Part 11

Take me down to Kingsley Town

Split Game 1

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This is where we need to pick ourselves up. We face Queen of the South knowing that a win for them would very likely mean we get pipped to a European place. However, a win for us should see us safe, even with four games to go.

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That's more like it. A comfortable win would have been made better had Dundee United not beaten Celtic, and now there'll be pressure on us to do the same. Rangers will be delighted though - just two points away from securing Champions League football again, and it could be the title if they can overhaul Celtic.

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