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Jogo Bonito

FM18: The English Football League Thread - EFL in FM18

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I will start with Hull City, I looked briefly at their squad but it looks poor, could you recommend any good loans?

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Posted (edited)

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I was very happy to inherit a well-balanced squad with no major weaknesses.

I had cover in all positions, but equally there were no areas where I felt there were simply too many players.

I like to run a first team squad of 24/25 anyway, but Preston have no U23 team so it was crucial to keep the numbers down as the U18 team couldn't offer much use.

Transfer activity

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The two areas that I wanted a bit more depth were centre-back and striker, perhaps one more in central midfield. I didn't even look at full-back or wing positions.

Central defence had the right numbers, but Tom Clarke had a long-term injury when I took over (he is expected back in December) so I was one short.

With two of my central defenders left-sided (Ben Davies & Tommy Spurr), I wanted a right-sided option to cover Paul Huntington until Clarke returned.

Whilst I wanted a right-footer specifically, I also wanted this man to be comfortable as a left-centre back if needed.

A loan until January was the plan, and Declan Rice was quickly identified as the man I wanted.

However, West Ham wouldn't agree to my loan terms (100% of his £6,750 per week wages) despite my repeated efforts until the final day of the window.

I considered some other targets, but deals couldn't be done for any of them either. In the end I decided full-back Calum Woods could be used as my fourth option.

With the club historically giving a good educational experience for Man Utd youngsters, my first signing saw Scott McTominay added to the midfield pool.

I wanted lots of energy and bite in the midfield and he was a good supplement to the players already at the club. We are paying his £5,000 per week wage.

The second arrival was 17 year old Stevenage centre-back Ben Wilmot. He joined for £110,000 as one for the future.

At that point I was confident of getting Rice in, so was happy to agree a loan-back until the summer. In hindsight, I shouldn't have allowed that.     

I knew from the outset that I would want to play with just one striker, and I was happy with Sean Maguire for this position.

But I had doubts about my only other natural striker (Louis Moult was unproven in England), and I wanted a reliable option here for the bench/injuries.

Recalling the days when Preston had Jamaican handful Ricardo Fuller, I decided that 32 year-old Kenwyne Jones would be the solution.

The 32 year old free agent had 88 caps for Trinidad & Tobago, but still had great physical stats and could obtain a WP easily enough.

He's marked down as due to retire on 1st January 2018, but with wages of only £6,000 per week, he was my ideal back-up option.

With an initial transfer budget of nearly £5m, I also had the opportunity to bring in one more striker.

I wanted to be careful with my spending though, and most of the players considered were too costly for my liking or would be unable to get a WP issued.

Typical Preston-type signings would have been Will Grigg or Jack Marriott, both from League 1 clubs.

However, I have tentative plans to manage the former elsewhere, and I've managed the latter at Peterborough already.

I did also look at PNE old boys Jordan Hugill and Joe Garner on loans, but their clubs weren't cooperative.

 In fact, I checked out around 40 options either for loan or transfer, but there was always an obstacle of varying degrees placed in my way.

I thought I had cracked it with a loan move for young Anderlecht striker Silvere Ganvoula, until he became the latest WP refusal victim for me.

So I decided that £1.1 million for Lee Gregory was going to give me the best value for money. I was sure he would have the ideal work ethic for this club.

His £6,000 per week wage was in keeping with all of my other men, and as a bench option I didn't feel I needed to be spending more than that. 

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Goalkeepers: Chris Maxwell (22), Declan Rudd (1)

Full-backs: Darnell Fisher (14), Calum Woods (15), Greg Cunningham (3), Josh Earl (32)

Centre-backs: Tom Clarke (5), Paul Huntington (23), Ben Davies (20), Tommy Spurr (17)

Central midfielders: Ben Pearson (4), Alan Browne (8), Daniel Johnson (11), Scott McTominay (6), John Welsh (19), Paul Gallagher (12), Josh Harrop (10)

Wide midfielders: Callum Robinson (37), Tom Barkhuizen (29), Daryl Horgan (7), Billy Bodin  (39)

Strikers: Sean Maguire (24), Lee Gregory (9), Kenwyne Jones (18), Louis Moult (21)

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Pre-season

Pre-season couldn't have gone any better. But I find that usually sets me up for a heavy fall.

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Competitive fixtures

I was targeting a top-half finish, and under no pressure to achieve anything better than that.

But anything I did do was going to be done the Preston way. That meant being hard to break down, hard to beat, energetic, competitive and determined.

I put a lot more (than normal) focus on the defensive shape and training for this was crucial. Our work ethic had to be spot on.

Results have been delightful as you can see. So far, we have lost just twice in the league, and once in the Carabao Cup.

The games have mainly been tight, and we have sometimes rescued ourselves late on, or thanks to a penalty. We have rarely blown teams away.

But this is Preston. And so far, a very well-drilled Preston.

Sean Maguire has been in excellent form, in fact so far Jones and Gregory have only had one start each.

I've coped well with injuries to Pearson and Cunningham (the latter has only played twice so far), and I couldn't be happier.

The minor blips saw Sunderland shock us (they're well down the league) and Fulham score two late goals to dump us out of the cup.

The latest fixture at Norwich was disappointing only in the manner of defeat. It was one of those really quirky FM moments in fact.

Comfortable at 0-0, and with just a few minutes to go, Spurr had come on for the injured Davies to make his second appearance of the season.

The Norwich keeper hoofed the ball up-field, and their forward watched it sail over his head.

Spurr had all the time in the world to control it and turn, or safely guide it back to Maxwell, who has been in fine form.

As Maxwell edged to the side of goal, Spurr instead rolled it tamely in to the other side of the empty net. Oomph.

It was too late in the game to recover, and that was that. Don't expect to be back on the pitch anytime soon Tommy.

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Tactics and formation

As I mentioned earlier, the attention to defensive training has been very important to how our season has gone.

Sometimes the opposition get no shots on target. I see crosses blocked, I see more tackling in the deep midfield areas, and we seem in control.

I've discovered that paying attention to this can reap real rewards, it's been a long time since I saw a side defend how I want them to.

And below is the tactic I use, showing my usual first team line up and duties. I do rotate the bench a little bit but that is often the choices I have made.

No players have any specific individual instructions except for the two wide men who are both told to shoot less.

If Jones or Gregory come on, their role is set as target man and defensive forward respectively, but other than that it's pretty consistent.

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)
On 11/13/2017 at 13:13, Marc.Foster050 said:

Started a save as Cardiff. Usually hate being my team as I end up keeping players I shouldn't solely because I like them IRL.

Not a very busy summer as I like the squad and doing well IRL so thought would give everyone a chance. Just signed Skalak from Brighton and Grujic from Liverpool (both on loan) as I needed numbers and a bit of creativity. Sent Feeney back to Blackburn to as not a fan on the game or in reality!

Seems to be working so far. 11 games in top of the league by a point having won 7, drawn 2, lost 2. As in reality the league is very tight though and am always a couple of losses away from mid table!

Zehore has been a beast so far as well with 8 goals (including a 4 game dry spell when west brom came sniffing) and Lee Tomlin has been brilliant! Trying to build systems like Warnock so solid at the back first which has created a lot of wins by 1 goal.

Long way to go but delighted with the start!

 

Can't believe I've only just discovered this thread! Great to see lots of people choosing the lower leagues!

I'm a very happy Cardiff fan for obvious reasons. How's your save with Cardiff going mate? I'm in my third season, currently top of the Premiership and in the quarter final of the Champions League, which is where I expect my run to end as I've been drawn against Real Madrid.

First season I won the Championship title by a point. Second season in the Premiership, I started well and kept in the top 6. I gambled on playing the reserves in the cups and got knocked out early, but this enabled me to keep my first team fresh for challenging for Europe. I managed to sneak 4th place and got into the Champions League.

Third season, I've used the additional funds and raised profile from the Champions League qualification to sign good young players like Dolberg, Sisto and Pavon. I got Cuisance on loan who has been superb and I signed Dourado who has been a quality holding midfielder.

I play a 4-1-2-3 wide system with short passing, retaining possesson, high tempo, playing narrow and closing down often, which obviously requires my centre midfielders to have high work rate and stamina stats. I have 9 games remaining in the Premiership, hopefully I will hold on to win the title.

Edited by Blue 4 Life

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hace 49 minutos, Blue 4 Life dijo:

 

Can't believe I've only just discovered this thread! Great to see lots of people choosing the lower leagues!

I'm a very happy Cardiff fan for obvious reasons. How's your save with Cardiff going mate? I'm in my third season, currently top of the Premiership and in the quarter final of the Champions League, which is where I expect my run to end as I've been drawn against Real Madrid.

First season I won the Championship title by a point. Second season in the Premiership, I started well and kept in the top 6. I gambled on playing the reserves in the cups and got knocked out early, but this enabled me to keep my first team fresh for challenging for Europe. I managed to sneak 4th place and got into the Champions League.

Third season, I've used the additional funds and raised profile from the Champions League qualification to sign good young players like Dolberg, Sisto and Pavon. I got Cuisance on loan who has been superb and I signed Dourado who has been a quality holding midfielder.

I play a 4-1-2-3 wide system with short passing, retaining possesson, high tempo, playing narrow and closing down often, which obviously requires my centre midfielders to have high work rate and stamina stats. I have 9 games remaining in the Premiership, hopefully I will hold on to win the title.

Can You share your transfers?

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, superbowl145 said:

Can You share your transfers?

 

First season:

69175f1816b897cf5e0e4f76d164f471.png

 

Second season:

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Third season:

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Edited by Blue 4 Life

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hace 4 minutos, Blue 4 Life dijo:

 

First season:

69175f1816b897cf5e0e4f76d164f471.png

 

Second season:

ed90506829949e83e25315ba168671a5.png

5a9c48d8817d196d7a44ab5b27440cb4.png

 

Third season:

6d075936be770b6cfa83250c743235a9.png

8117f44bbd4e1099cde4a0c008a822c2.png

Thanks

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9 minutes ago, superbowl145 said:

Thanks

 

Every transfer I've done has been 50% up front and the other 50% in installments, to make my budget last.

Also, I switch my tempo from high to normal for some games, especially when playing against a good team away. I find this makes my team take a bit more time and care on the ball, slow the game down and not give possession away so easily. I usually play a high tempo to move the ball around quickly to break teams down when I'm at home and think I'm the superior team, then when I take the lead I might switch the tempo to normal. It depends who I play against and how the game is going really.

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hace 13 minutos, Blue 4 Life dijo:

 

Every transfer I've done has been 50% up front and the other 50% in installments, to make my budget last.

Also, I switch my tempo from high to normal for some games, especially when playing against a good team away. I find this makes my team take a bit more time and care on the ball, slow the game down and not give possession away so easily. I usually play a high tempo to move the ball around quickly to break teams down when I'm at home and think I'm the superior team, then when I take the lead I might switch the tempo to normal. It depends who I play against and how the game is going really.

I been willing to choose cardiff or other team, just set up my DB and then choose a team 

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1 hour ago, superbowl145 said:

I been willing to choose cardiff or other team, just set up my DB and then choose a team 

I really didn't have to do too much with Cardiff  in my first season. I brought in a couple of new left backs, as Joe Bennett is criminally underrated in the game. The rest of the defence is solid, the middle 3 of Gunnarsson, Ralls and Bryson were superb and I added Flamini on a free and Grujic on loan as well. Hoilett and Mendez-Laing were great on the wings and Zohore was fine up front. The rest of my signings were just to add numbers to the squad really because of the hectic schedule of fixtures.

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Been a bit pre-occupied as I’ve been ordering lots of beer and cider for a festival I am organising.

Hopefully I can pick up my Nottingham Forest save and update tomorrow.

I’ve picked out Southend United for one of my first FM19 saves.

Sam Barratt (22) formerly of my club Bracknell Town has just joined them from Maidenhead United and signed his first pro contract.

From Non League Step 5 and 6 with Bracknell to step 2 and then step 1 with Maidenhead following their promotion to Conference Premier now to League One. 

So happy for him. Great talent and great attitude.

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ac7b12c579a88ba23e7f8a574a732189.png

Not bad for my third season, I can't believe it! Bizarre end to the season as well as my final 3 games were all against Chelsea. I had already secured the title, so I played my reserves in my final league game and lost 3-0, but this enabled me to keep my first team fresh for the FA Cup final and Champions League final games. It couldn't have worked out any better/luckier, as both Hazard and Morata were out injured and this severely reduced their attacking threat, allowing me to win both finals with my fresher team and secure the treble!

I have already secured the signings of Benjamin Mendy, Malinkovic-Savic and Dele Alli for my next season, which I'm very excited about! This has blown my budget already however, to the extent where I can't even renew contracts as the board don't want to break financial fair play. I'm going to have to sell a few players and hopefully, this treble will give the additional funds required to renew the contracts I want.

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Struggling to get into a save at the moment but I like the look of a Chesterfield save after them just getting relegated irl and they are a local club to me being from Sheffield. 

I will be aiming to build up a squad of up and coming English talents probably on loan in season 1 and then hopefully sign them either full time or on loan again for season 2

I will be spending a lot of time to develop this save and get a more in depth knowledge of tactics training etc from this forum and try and take the club up to the championship before taking stock of where I go from there

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@duds Forward planning there! You're in pretty much the area I was from before moving abroad, so I also hope Sam does well (and hopefully has more luck than Tarpey).

@YoungHoss Welcome and good luck at Chesterfield.

@Armistice Don't Hull already have four loans? Unless you are terminating any (and you're well short of fit/decent defenders anyway) don't forget that you can only have five in the match day squad. So which positions were you looking at for loan players to come in?

To everyone else, enjoy Cardiff. I think they're a really good club to pick this year. The bar has set been very high, looking at the success in real life and in here!

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Been staying away from the thread as I got fed up with the game. Mainly fed up with great center backs being unable to mark opposition strikers, having to take extraordinary measures to avoid my right back pressing the opposition mcr and having to build my tactics with the sole purpose of avoiding endless hopeless pot shots against teams that sit deep. Been playing a bit of FM17 and it just feels like such a breath of fresh air even though it's far from perfect itself. Not sure whether I'll get back to 18 at all or just play 17 till 19 comes out.

Anyway, I wanted to congratulate @Blue 4 Life, winning the champions league in the third season with Cardiff is absolutely amazing! :applause:

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@kozmik Sorry to hear that but you play a lot more seasons than me so I can understand if you get to that stage. The only thing I noticed repeating in most of my saves was my two wingers crossing to each other for the majority of my goals. I've changed that with a purposeful tweak at Preston because it was becoming a bit repetitive!

I'll give you a shout if I need an Assistant Manager :lol:

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30 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@kozmik Sorry to hear that but you play a lot more seasons than me so I can understand if you get to that stage. The only thing I noticed repeating in most of my saves was my two wingers crossing to each other for the majority of my goals. I've changed that with a purposeful tweak at Preston because it was becoming a bit repetitive!

I'll give you a shout if I need an Assistant Manager :lol:

It's a deal :lol:

I actually went back to my Lincoln save after becoming too frustrated with the Barnsley one, and it was even worse even though my back line was filled with world class players. I've fired up a new save with United in FM17 and it really feels so much better even though my back line features the likes of Smalling, Jones and Rojo. I really don't even do much better, but just the way I concede goals and the way I fail to score them is a lot easier on the eye (and the brain).

I might dig up my old Peterborough save and get back to playing with my GOAT striker Marzierli. See if I can win a few champions leagues in a row. :)

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Cheers @Jogo Bonito set the save up this morning and started to sort my squad and staff out and put the tactic I plan on using into place so once I have all that sorted out I will do a small update with transfers and the tactics I plan on using etc 

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Posted (edited)

@JohnShepard In reply to your PM, the only Player Instructions used by me at Preston are for my two wide attackers to have 'shoot less often'. 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Hi all,

I am thinking about starting a save in League 2 with Coventry City, has anyone had any success with them on FM18? What signings should I be looking to make? I don't think I will have any money to spend based on a quick glance on the Editor! I have never managed in League 2 before on any FM so this will be quite the challenge for me.

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7 hours ago, RageMaster said:

Hi all,

I am thinking about starting a save in League 2 with Coventry City, has anyone had any success with them on FM18? What signings should I be looking to make? I don't think I will have any money to spend based on a quick glance on the Editor! I have never managed in League 2 before on any FM so this will be quite the challenge for me.

Good luck with Coventry, I'm considering another effort with them too. I've not managed them on this current database, but it's a really good team to try and revive. I think you're right on the money side, I don't believe you will have any money in transfer or wage budget. If that's the case, you'll have three choices.

1. Do what you can with the current group (they have some good young players there already).

2. See how many loan players you can bring in to any positions you think might need it most. Don't forget, you can only have five loan players in your 18-man match day squad.

3. See if there is anybody you don't consider essential, that you might be able to get some funds from selling. I suggest you ask if the board will increase your transfer revenue percentage before doing this. Give serious thought to who you sell though, you'll need your best players to stay as the board will expect you to do well.

In addition to this, when the time comes to set your bonuses, set them all to the lowest possible as this will add a small amount to your transfer budget. You can also see if there are any transfer clauses you can sell.

 

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1059378592_PNElogo.thumb.jpg.14ba16e14915204a738a2b526ef1f5f1.jpg

At the end of my last update, we were 2nd to Wolves with only two league defeats at the time.

The winter transfer window had been deliberately quiet, with only a few deals being done.

I signed striker Okyere Wriedt on loan from Bayern's reserve team, who more than justified his £800 per week cost with some great contributions.

I signed centre-back Tom Brewitt on loan from Middlesbrough purely as injury cover (no wages paid), but he didn't step on to the pitch for me.

And I signed Trinidad & Tobago striker Jamille Boatswain on a pre-contract deal from 1st April, although he doesn't yet have a work permit.

I gambled as his wages are only £210 per week, so if his nation can get their ranking higher, he will be in the first team squad.

I allowed Louis Moult to go on loan to Hull as this recouped £500k in fees for a player who had made one 13-minute cameo appearance.

And Kenywne Jones retired on 1st January 2018, more of that later...

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On the pitch, we ticked along quite nicely until January, which was a poor month.

A few injuries disrupted our progress, including those that affected captain Tom Clarke and the afore-mentioned Jones.

Clarke was injured before I took over, and made one 90 minute appearance in December before being ruled out for another three months. Not great.

Jones was retiring anyway, but picked up a hip injury at the start of December which was going to rule him out for four months.

It wasn't an ideal end to his career, but although he only scored a solitary goal in 1 (10) appearances, he had been a valuable player in his short spell at the club.

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With Wolves setting a pace we could not match, we were comfortable in 2nd for quite some time.

But more injuries came (for some time, three out of our four wingers were out), and a goal drought for Maguire really caused us some problems.

During this spell, we slipped to 3rd behind Middlesbrough.

We were always safe for the play-offs, but never really got that momentum back again.

Finishing 3rd, we had a semi-final against Norwich, whilst Fulham faced Ipswich over two legs.

 I wasn't too unhappy losing 1-0 at Carrow Road, but in the return at Deepdale we couldn't quite do enough - their late goal giving them a 2-0 aggregate win.

Ipswich saw off Fulham in the other semi, before Norwich won a special Old Farm derby at Wembley on penalties to book their Premier League return.

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Here's the final table. When I took the job, I never imagined finishing 3rd so I should be very proud.

Right now though, it feels like we missed a real opportunity with that late slump in form costing us dearly.

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I couldn't really have expected much more from most of my players, although Lee Gregory certainly hadn't done much to justify his £1.1m fee.

The fact that he moaned throughout most of the season (when it was his own form that saw him left out of the team), means I'm very open to selling him on now,

With a heavy heart, I'll also be allowing long-serving favourites John Welsh and Paul Gallagher to leave at the end of their contracts.

I'll be looking to bring back Moult, and will also have young defender Ben Wilmot arriving after his loan-back to Stevenage ends.

Tom Barkhuizen won the player of the year award, but there are quite a few others already demanding new contracts (Fisher, Davies, Browne and Robinson).

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And the parting note surrounds the club itself, as I have been made aware that a takeover is in the pipeline.

Of course it may not happen, and I hope it doesn't really. Time will tell...

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Have started a save as Yeovil Town in League Two as they are the lower league team I sort of follow.

Finished 6th first season and went on to lose the playoff final 3-2 to Cambridge United late in extra time! I historically have an abysmal playoff record on FM so I wasn’t surprised.

Second season I have been in 1st spot from the opening game, and have an eight point lead in January. Have totally jinxed it now. 

Anyway, I normally start in the very bottom leagues to be realistic and end up getting nowhere, so this has been an enjoyable change so far. This thread has been a great read too to keep the motivation going.

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@Jogo Bonito Gutted for your end of season form mate, but like you said if you had been offered 3rd spot and a crack at the play offs before the season started, you'd have snapped it up. Good luck for the summer.

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On ‎21‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 00:12, Mushtaq said:

Have started a save as Yeovil Town in League Two as they are the lower league team I sort of follow.

Finished 6th first season and went on to lose the playoff final 3-2 to Cambridge United late in extra time! I historically have an abysmal playoff record on FM so I wasn’t surprised.

Second season I have been in 1st spot from the opening game, and have an eight point lead in January. Have totally jinxed it now. 

Anyway, I normally start in the very bottom leagues to be realistic and end up getting nowhere, so this has been an enjoyable change so far. This thread has been a great read too to keep the motivation going.

Best of luck with Yeovil, do Somerset proud. 6th and then an eight point lead is excellent so far as the squad isn't very good.

@smplfc123 Thanks for that. The takeover happened during pre-season. My £3m transfer budget is now £11m, and they doubled the wage budget to £350,000 per week. It doesn't feel very much like Preston anymore, although I've not splashed any cash yet. I'll see whether it maintains my interest as my policy of keeping players mainly from UK & Ireland and a self-imposed £10k per week wage limit might not be suitable for the new regime.

Did you get going with Bristol Rovers or you didn't fancy it in the end?

@superbowl145 Good luck with QPR if you're still managing them.

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@Jogo Bonito Fair one mate, a takeover can sometimes spoils things can't it?! Unfortunately I haven't had the time for an save at the moment as i'm in the process of moving house, which is taking longer than I would have liked, so just keeping my eye on here for now. Hopefully will get the game up and running and some point soon though.

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@smplfc123 Yeah, takeovers can be positive or negative. I'll see whether it feels right to continue or not. If it isn't, no doubt I will be starting somewhere else soon. In the meantime, I'll be progressing my BSC Young Boys effort for a bit of a break.

Best of luck with the house move mate :thup:

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