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FM20: The English Football League thread

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I'm looking forward to it. Going to remain loyal to my squad where possible and my tactic has got me this far. 

You're doing great with Hull too. I tried to sign Bowen in January but they didn't accept 15m over 3 years with £0 now. :rolleyes:

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Cheers, yes Bowen has been incredibly good for me. Incredibly, he is only on £8000 per week too, although he could ask for anything when a new contract needs to be addressed. His current value is £16.25 million and currently has no release clause (deal expires June 21 after I triggered the extension).

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Hi all,

Just started a save with Derby (my team in real life), yet to press continue past day one as I've been busy with the "admin". The major issue I've had is identifying signings. The system I'm looking to run is as follows:

AF/A PF/S

BBM/S RPM/S MEZ/A

HB/D (centrally, just for clarity)

FB/A CD/D CD/D WB/S

SK/S

TIs and PIs are yet to be determined, but the first versions simple with room to build. It's inspired by FM Grasshopper's recent Gallardo system and @ManUtd1's latest system from his thread in the career updates, plus incredibly loosely from the way we played the diamond at the back end of last season and my own ideas too. Obviously all could change, but thats is the general direction. Player wise the idea is to have two players per position, as follows:20200126_220444.thumb.jpg.25928abb344b325d03e4591d5763276f.jpg

Back up right backs sorted, I'm yet to decide between Christie (Fulham) or Foulquier (Watford) both in loan, 20 grand each. They're much the same really, I'll gut instinct it.

I've got an idea for the centre back. I've found a decent Swedish guy on a free -- Milosevic. However there's an issue, he played for Forest until last season. Petty but sh*t happens. I could still go for him in all fairness. There's also Jordan Storey and Ben Davies (both Preston) as options, but if I'm paying money for someone I want them to be able to step up to play in the Premier League and I'm yet to decide if those two would be capable.

Im looking for one player to play back up to both Rooney and Holmes either Saviet or Matty Longstaff (both Newcastle) on loans, Saviet with a £3 million option but Longstaff's loan is £750. Again, its either either or. The plan is Max Bird and Louie Sibley minutes as I can.

My goalkeeper is completely up for debate. Loans, a free transfer or a permanent actual money player who could play in the Premier League for abit at least are the options.

Any advice (particularly for the centre back and goalkeeper) are incredibly appreciated. We've got about 6 million and 60 grand in wages (I've adjusted budgets) plus I'm looking to sell Jozefzoon, Lawrence and Forsyth, whilst cancelling Dowell and Hamer's loans as soon as I can. I'm also loaning out Bennett for game time. So we'll have a healthy budget, hopefully around £15-20 million and plenty in wages.

I'm aware I've waffled so apologies for that, but any signing advice would be great or tips on how you've all got out the Championship (sacked by Derby very early on and also failing with Catania in Serie C).

I'll keep you posted

Cheers

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Great post @OJ403

It's always good to have some clear ideas on what you want to achieve. I'm sure you will get plenty of suggestions, if I think of any I will let you know.

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Great post @OJ403

Agreed! I loaned in Christie in a short Derby save and he was good. Southampton's Callum Slattery is a decent loan signing in midfield. I signed Matty Longstaff in a recent save (Brentford maybe?) and he was bang average all season. I'll have a think about goalkeepers.

Good to have you with us.

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With all the FFP nonsense I forgot to post an actual update...

Plymouth: season 2, February

C0Fh4BVh.png?1

November began with a total abomination - a home defeat to non-league Sutton in the FA Cup. Thankfully, that was not indicative of a downturn in form as we put together a string of wins in the league and, sadly, in the dispLeasing trophy. December was more mixed, but we did enough to climb to 3rd in the table, and January wasn't bad but we suddenly couldn't find a win at home and those dropped points saw us fall back to 5th in the league. Better results at the end of the month and the beginning of February have pushed us back up to 4th, just 2pts behind second-place (although Oxford are pretty much out of sight with a 12pt lead over Blackburn).

Our star performer remains young striker Adam Fletcher who has pushed his tally to 16 goals in 31 appearances, but Idah has disappointed with just 11 in 26 (and third-choice forward Dominic Telford hasn't scored since October). Also disappointing have been our midfielders - Grant and Mayor have not performed to the same level as last season, and new signing Jack Clarke has fallen away a bit after starting the season brightly. Baxter has suffered a big decline, my coaches now rate him only as a decent L2 midfielder, and we've had a major falling out since he has demanded more games despite not performing to anything like an acceptable level.

It goes without saying that, having been predicted to finish in the bottom half, we're still over-performing by a huge margin, but the club's financial situation means that promotion is critical. We have 13 games to play and every one of them massive.

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9 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm sure you will get plenty of suggestions, if I think of any I will let you know.

 

7 hours ago, warlock said:

Agreed! I loaned in Christie in a short Derby save and he was good. Southampton's Callum Slattery is a decent loan signing in midfield. I signed Matty Longstaff in a recent save (Brentford maybe?) and he was bang average all season. I'll have a think about goalkeepers.

Good to have you with us.

Cheers lads. Looks like Cyrus Cafu could be making a return to the club, even if it is just on a 6 month/season loan! I've got a soft spot for him cause of the fact he played for us quite well in my opinion and he started in two (I think) of my Europa League wins with us on FM17.

Interesting about Longstaff, I'll definitely think hard between him and Saviet, who admittedly does have slightly more appeal due to the option of a permanent (around £3 million I think I recall). Obviously I'm still on day one, so scouting is very much underway still.

And yeah goalkeepers would be greatly appreciated, I could only find Lovre Kalinic on loan from Villa last night and he doesn't seem to be too big of an upgrade on Roos, who definitely needs upgrading. Although I don't know about anyone elses experiences but I typically struggle to find quality loans in the first season as most of the good available players have already gone out on loan in real life before the save starts.

Thanks for the feedback guys, any more would be appreciated from anyone (even non-ELF-ers)

I'll update as the save progresses into the season

Cheers

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12 hours ago, OJ403 said:

Hi all,

 

Any advice (particularly for the centre back and goalkeeper) are incredibly appreciated. We've got about 6 million and 60 grand in wages

 

Cheers

 

Cb's :  Alexander Scholz

            Luis Abram

            Victor Nelsson

            Scott McKenna ( my favourite)

            Arlind Ajeti (free)

            Ricardo Ferreira (free)

 

Gk's:   Sean McDermott

            Ondrej Kolar

            Scott Bain

            Denes Dibusz

            Inaki Pena  (sometimes barca let him go)

            

 

            

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Been a long time admirer of this thread but never been able to participate due to my laptop speed being so slow and the time I have to play meaning I could only complete around 2 seasons in the hole time the games are out before moving on to the latest edition.

Decided to buy a Nintendo Switch to be able to play more often and do more seasons so cant wait for tonight to be able to finally start a save with my club, Tranmere, and see where this save can go! Hopefully have as much fun and luck as you guys have had!

 

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11 minutes ago, QuassoRP said:

Decided to buy a Nintendo Switch to be able to play more often

Looking forward to following your progress :thup:

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Plymouth: season 2, final score

We did pretty well for the remainder of the season:

DgjGdKAh.png?1

We managed to overtake Hull for 3rd place, and held it, but dropped points meant that Blackburn maintained their lead in 2nd and eventually clinched the automatic promotion spot behind Oxford. The final game against Cambridge was a dead rubber, as our position was certain regardless of the result. So, the playoffs.

We drew a resurgent Wycombe Wanderers, who the media made clear favourites to go through. First leg we were away, and after taking a comfortable-looking 2-0 lead, collapsed in added time as we had no answer to their all-out attack:

Sux9dNBh.png?1

In the return leg, we twice had the lead and twice surrendered it before Wycombe grabbed the lead late in extra time. But I took a measure of revenge by going all-out attack myself and we nicked the latest possible equaliser before triumphing in the penalty shootout:

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In the final we faced Charlton, who had denied Hull their chance of promotion:

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Mission: Impossible became Mission: Accomplished with a highly unlikely consecutive promotion.

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Idah eventually came good, winning the league's golden boot with 19 goals (Fletcher was the club's highest scorer but 3 of his 21 came in the Leasing trophy). Conor Grant and Joe Riley led the ratings and were vitally important throughout the season. Of the new signings, Alfie Jones and backup LB Stephen Hendrie were dependable, while Jacks Baldwin and Clarke were good on their day but inconsistent.

I have to decide whether to stay at Plymouth or take on a new challenge. Watch this space...

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Ok so start of the second season (which seems very early?) this is my team/transfers. I've already lost Bannan for 6 months and Westwood for 2 months and that's before a balls been kicked. Alot of players left in the summer, but with no transfer budget and lower wages alot of players who I would've like to have kept had to go. I managed to sell both 3rd choice Liam Palmer and 5th choice Joost van Aken and then by reducing my wage budget I could afford to bring in Sergio Gomez for £400k upfront. He's clearly been downgraded since the last FM, but he still looks like he could be a good creative force in midfield. On the loan front, I didn't want more than 6, and with Alena, Brewster and Murphy renewing, I had 3 spots. Martinelli was my top choice with no first choice LW'er in the squad, Kane was a panic loan but he'll be a good backup and Nketiah is a no brainer. What I thought was bizzare was that no-one else went for £15k a week Nketiah, who is arguably the best striker in the Championship

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Also, in what looked like a very average youth uptake, this lad seems to be improving alot:

image.thumb.png.b784af55e234f28c0625fea1657e340a.png

Edited by jonathan44

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Hello folks! Back after a few days hiatus. 

@Dong21 - great job with Bolton. How is Darcy coming along he seems to have some good potential, along with Boon. Also Remie Streete (who seems to have retired IRL) is definitely THE best free signing in the game for League one level and below.

@jonathan44 - good work with Wednesday, unlucky in the playoffs! I hear you about the finances for these clubs in the Championship with bloated wage bills. I am dealing with something similar too. But that seems like some excellent transfers, particularly the loans. I have found that the AI managers are quite thick when it comes to loans as well, and they usually make a ton of loan bids towards the end of the window. So if you get your business done early it helps.

@warlock - what a super season with Plymouth! Well done and I did tell you about Idah :) How is FFP looking?

@StePratt - excellent work, and it is great to see someone else using a 3-5-2 formation and doing very well! 

@Jogo Bonito - Bowen is on fire!! Any luck getting him to renew? All the best for the remaining games.

 

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BIG update coming up from my save. I had made it halfway through the second season and things were going very well at MK Dons, as we were between the top 3 positions in the league. 

However, there is one club that I somehow keep getting attracted to in FM since the last one or two editions, but have never seen a game through with them yet. The "calling" grew further after recently watching the Netflix documentary on said club. At the turn of the year in my save, I found them languishing in last place in the Championship with no manager. 

At the same time, contract extension talks with MK Dons broke down as they refused to offer me more than 5k/week which was frankly laughable given how well we were doing. Well, a few days later, this happened:

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And this is what the league table looked like at the time:

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At this point, I don't think I frankly realised how mammoth a task I was taking up. Which would soon become clear. As you can see we left the Dons in a great position to fight for a consecutive promotion, I was also curious to see how the next manager would get on (not very well, it turns out). 

Sunderland gave me a contract at 17.5k/week so over 3x what the Dons were offering, and also making me the highest paid individual at the club. 

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The club was a mess, and I quickly realized its a whole other ball game to come in when the chips are down and try to put together some momentum. Apart from this, financially we were over 5 million in the red and hemorrhaging money every month. 

We struggled for consistency, getting a huge win one week and getting spanked the next. Also, I have had some of my most exhilarating and also frustrating games I have played on FM. Look at these:

20200128114801_1.thumb.jpg.f7053edca19705aa1ed34db035dc2696.jpg

Away at last placed Millwall, knowing that a win would put some distance between us. After being 2-0 ahead at HT and a goal up with just a few minutes to go, we still somehow conspire to lose. And this wouldn't be the only time. 

20200128114821_1.thumb.jpg.fd56a686d0a090a68ac1a99ee855e5d2.jpg

This was the most crushing game of them all. Playing against 10 men, we went 3-1 up on 84 minutes, and I got an update that with this win the club would climb out of the relegation zone. We are safe, I thought. However two minutes later, my CB Phillips gives away a ridiculous pen at the edge of the area which they convert. Now I decided to go completely defensive and keep the ball, then in the last minute of stoppage time my LB gives it away and they equalize a man down. We stay in 23rd place. 

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However there was also this EPIC derby with Boro. Again playing against 10 men we absolutely dominated and were deservedly ahead. However we kept spurning chance after chance to make it 2-0. Of course, the moment I was dreading came as they equalized from a set piece (we just cannot defend these) in stoppage time. I was literally ready to smash my laptop, when on the 94th minute my LWB Toffolo pops up with a stunning volley from outside the box to win it. 

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And finally, the match that secured survival for us. Second last game of the season, and Luton had already won so we needed to pick up a point at already relegated Coventry. 2-0 up with 15 minutes to go, and we give away a stupid pen, all too familiar territory for us sadly. I knew what was coming as well, as we then shipped an equalizer in the 84th. Squeaky bum time! But thankfully we held on for the point and survival. I am pretty sure we would have collapsed had it gone down to the last day.

20200128011953_1.thumb.jpg.f819b5e908e31d58bc72e9df6fd9af53.jpg

PHEW.

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Looking ahead to the 2021/22 season, and what will be my first full season at Sunderland.

Financially, we are still in dire straits. The board has provided cash injections thrice in the past few months to keep the club running, and are currently looking to sell. 

As a result, we have no money to actually spend, and need to trim the wage bill as well.

This is what the squad looks like - the only transfer I have made so far was a cut-price deal for Jonson Clarke-Harris from Bristol Rovers (who scored some crucial goals). From this lot, Pantilimon, McLaughlins (both of them), Phillips, Ozturk, Hutton, McGeouch, Watmore & Thomas will all be moving on. So we will be left with a threadbare squad as well, but thankfully some room should open up for wages. Should be a fun summer!

20200128121248_1.jpg

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City: Season 2022/23 Preview

Due to the winter World Cup we headed into a reduced summer excited and keen to hit the transfer market and improve our squad. After completing the great escape (staying up after at one stage being seven points adrift at the bottom), we finished the season well and despite at one stage it seeming impossible, we avoided relegation. We finished the season in pretty good form too, leaving me with some transfer market headaches to address. I was keen to bring in some new faces, but didn't feel the need to completely overhaul our squad. Plus financial control means that it would be silly to go and splash funds crazily, despite a healthy transfer budget of £2,000,000 being given. With the World Cup taking place in the winter, the pre-season period was to be shorter than normal. Business would need to be done promptly, and I went into it pretty organised with what I wanted to do.

A number of players departed the Ricoh Arena at the end of their contracts. Defender George Tanner had two mediocre loan deals after I had signed him two summers ago, but he departed the club as he hadn't developed like I would've hoped. A number of other younger players also departed due to a lack of development. The most notable was 20-year old midfielder Jonny Ngandu. I had handed him his debut with the club, but he departed after 84 appearances for us over three seasons. Stockport County have picked him up, and he's sure to be a regular for them.

Young goalkeeper Cian Tylor once again headed away on loan, joining Macclesfield Town for the season. I also tried to force a permanent transfer for winger Duncan Watmore. This didn't materialise, and he ended up joining the MK Dons on loan for the campaign. They're paying half of his wages throughout as well. His contract with us expires next summer, and he certainly won't be receiving a new one.

Middlesbrough would fund our entire summer spending, giving us funds on two deals. Striker Armando Broja had a unsuccessful loan deal with Lech over the latter stages of last season, and I didn't hesitate when we were offered a fee of £850,000 for him. I was more hesitant on the second one though. Central defender Dominic Hyam had been a regular and consistent performer at the back for us, but I begrudgingly accepted a deal of £975,000 rising to a potential £1,200,000. We spent most of the summer fighting off advances for left back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. He's become a key performer in our defence, and I didn't want him to leave. I also decided against selling Jordy Hiwula in the end, despite an average at best season last time around. Hopefully he will justify my faith this season.

Our first summer business was to extend the loan deals of Sebastian Picco (from Benfica), and Rhian Brewster (from Liverpool). Brewster was a little disappointing last season, but he's still been given the best odds in the league to top the goal scoring charts. Picco was sensational for us at the back. I was delighted to extend both those deals, especially having clinched the permanent signing of goalkeeper Mile Svilar back in January.

Unattached 18-year old winger Andrija Vidovic was signed, as was 25-year old central midfielder Jordan Rossiter after his release from Fulham. Vidovic is definitely one for the future, but looks very exciting and very promising indeed. 33-year old defender Gaetano Berardi was picked up at the end of his contract with Leeds United, his versatility at the back making him a solid signing. He's capable of playing anywhere across the back line, and his one year contract with us was a no-brainer really. We further increased our defensive options with another loan signing, this time from Juventus. 19-year old Austrian Raphael Schwarz joins for the season and will no doubt be our first choice right back.

Two young players were picked up to play a part in the first team too. Striker Alan Currie joined from Luton Town for £400,000, and will be backup to Rhian Brewster. He's only 18-years old, but looks to have a huge future ahead of him. There was also 20-year old playmaker Jake Cain who was picked up at the end of his contract with Liverpool. He will be a regular in our midfield, and I have extremely high hopes for him.

Delightfully we mnaged to keep winger Segzin Aleksiev here with us after a superb loan last season. He joined us permanently from Barnsley in a deal costing us £1,500,000. He was simply superb for us on loan last season, and I was seriously worried we were going to struggle to get him back. I didn't really want to pay that much for him, but his quality coupled with his age makes it a deal that should prove good value for money. I was slightly gutted to miss out on 18-year old striker Aaron Ramsey, having spent most of the pre-season attempting to complete a deal. He played up top against us for Aston Villa and caused us nothing but problems. We had a deal accepted, but he chose to join Middlesbrough instead for £175,000. Missing out on him pushed me into the signing of Alan Currie.

The bookmakers still give odds of 9-1 on us to be relegated, and the media predict us a 15th placed finish. I'm not expecting miracles, but I definitely want us to start to move forwards. The financial situation at the club is vastly improved, and its now time that on the field we begin to grow and improve. I'm hoping to steer well clear of a relegation battle this season and finish comfortably in mid table. Its time for us to begin thinking of laying foundations to grow into a Premier League team. To be the manager in charge to take this team back to the top flight would really be something truly special.

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Tonbridge Angels - 2019/20

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My second attempt with Tonbridge...

Transfers:

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I made similar transfers to my first attempt. Aransibia was the star man again (although again he would only sign for one year and won't renew) and Roberts came on loan from Nothampton once more. Taylor made the left back spot his own while Harrison was a favourite of mine on my Slough save last year. Hall was also excellent as a DLP and looks like he could develop into a very good player.

Season Review:

KWvC0ETl.jpg

This one was tough to take. We established ourselves in the top six very early on and never wavered. After we beat Dulwich 2-0 we held a six point gap with ten to play, however their form was simply better and while they ousted us by a point, it was only due to them dropping points on the last two match days. Needing to beat Eastbourne on the final day to secure second (and potentially a home playoff final), we scored twice early before Harrison went in two-footed, ruling himself out for the whole playoffs. While we held on to win, his aerial presence was sorely missed in the playoff semi, as a header from a corner sent Weymouth through.

Player performance wise, Jason Williams scored 30 times (23 in the league, winning the Golden Boot), while Roberts contributed 13 assists. Aransibia completed this attacking trio with 13 goals and six assists from the right wing and my personal favourite Eddie Oshodi was the pick of the defenders.

Next season:

The board has doubled our wage budget, but we will lose Aransibia and Christ Tiéhi, our two best players. Hopefully Roberts will return on loan, but I expect I'll face the same issues with strengthening that I did the first time around.

I did gain one fairly promising youth player through our intake and signed another on a free who I am excited to develop. I suspect both will be on the fringes of the first team squad next season:

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Coventry City: 2022/23 Mid-Season Report

After a very pleasing pre-season, albeit short, we headed into the league campaign on the back of winning four out of four in our friendly matches and on the back of a good end to last season. Confidence and hopes were high, and we hit the ground running, picking up a very pleasing 2-2 draw away to Bristol City on the opening day. A 94th minute equaliser from Ashley Hunter (in due to injury to Rhian Brewster) completing a brace. We followed that up with a very surprising victory at home to newly relegated Crystal Palace. Jordan Rossiter and Jordy Hiwula had given us a comfortable 2-0 lead early, and despite a late goal from Gabriel Barbosa (no idea how they've kept hold of him in the Championship) we held on. This became back-to back wins three days later, as we comfortably saw off Rotherham to make it three unbeaten at the start of the league season.

Injuries then began to hurt us, Rhian Brewster the most notable. The absence of his goals and creative link up hurt us and 0-0 draws against Huddersfield Town and Hull City halted our early progress. Defensively we were looking solid, and we were still rolling along unbeaten. That run did however come to an end in our next fixture, as we were rather unlucky in a 0-1 defeat to Brentford Town. That could've started a slip down the table, but thankfully it didn't. The return of Rhian Brewster saw us fly through September with victories over Millwall (2-1 away), Wigan Athletic (3-0 at home) and then Middlesbrough (2-1 away). Next up we showed sensational character to fight back late for a 2-2 draw against leaders West Brom, and sat third in the table and just a point off of the automatic promotion spots. We finished the month with a Rhian Brewster goal beating Birmingham 1-0 and in second place, having enjoyed a near fairy tale start to the campaign.

October was a heavy month, with the league breaking for the World Cup at its conclusion. Unfortunately the wheels came off, and we did indeed begin to slide down the league table. We did start the month excitingly enough though, as Sezgin Aleksiev scored an early goal to give us the lead at home to Norwich City. Within thirty minutes of his strike though, the game had turned around. An Adam Idah hat-trick helping the canaries to thump us 1-5 and begin a pretty dismal month. Sheffield Wednesday saw us off three days later, before a Rhian Brewster goal gave us a 1-0 win over Swansea to halt the rot. Defeats to Sheffield United, Reading and Aston Villa in the space of a week hurt us, before we claimed a first point in four, with a hard fought 0-0 draw against Fulham. A turnaround 2-1 win over Luton Town gave us hope, but we finished this portion of the season with a heart breaking late 2-3 defeat away to Portsmouth.

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That poor form has hurt our progress, and after a bright start we've dropped down to mid-table. We're comfortably clear of the drop zone, but now eight points adrift of the play-off places. Injuries have hit our small squad hard, and at times goals have been hard to come by. Joel Latibeaudiere has been sensational at the back though, and in goal Mile Svilar has six clean sheets already, as many as he got in the whole of last season. Even youngster Jakub Ojrzynski conceded only three in three at the start of the season, when Svilar was injured. Unsurprisingly Rhian Brewster is our top scorer with six, despite missing large chunks of the season through injury. Ashley Hunter has also missed a fair few games, but he's also managed to score five league goals so far. Young summer recruit Alan Currie has also performed well when needed, and he's picked up three Coventry goals so far. The biggest disappointment has been Sezgin Aleksiev though. Last season he scored 13 league goals and created a further 9, but he's struggled this season so far and is floating in and out of the starting line up, with just two league strikes to his name.

The League Cup is a competition we see to do fairly well in, and this season was no different. A much changed side stuttered, but managed to get past League Two side Exeter City on penalties after a 0-0 draw at the Ricoh Arena. The Second Round was fractionally better, with another 0-0 draw and penalty win, this time against Championship leaders West Brom. After making changes in both of those rounds, we made even more in dispatching Colchester United 4-2 in round three. Andrija Vidovic the star man with a hat-trick, pushing his way into my first team thoughts in the process. We eventually fell short, one round shy of the Quarter Finals. A stronger side took a shock early lead against Premier League Watford, as Sebastian Picco headed home from a corner. The hosts showed their superiority though in turning it around before half time, and we left with a far from embarrassing 1-2 exit from the competition. The FA Cup hasn't reached us yet, but we will play host to fellow Championship side Sheffield United in the Third Round.

The second half of this season is going to be tough, with plenty of games and a lot to play for. If we can get a good start to the new year then it'll give us some play-off aspirations, but more importantly a bad one could see us dragged down, and embroiled in another relegation battle. That's something i'm very keen for us to avoid. The transfer window could see us active, as we need a couple of bodies to add some depth. Injuries have hurt our bright start, and we've got a number of players out of contract in the summer too. Jordy Hiwula and Erwann David will almost certainly get new deals, but Duncan Watmore, Gaetano Berardi, Liam Kelly and Wayne Hennessey are more than likely to be shown the door. Marko Marosi is also out of contract, but with interest already i'll probably look to save on his wages and get rid of him in January.

My achievements with this team are beginning to get noticed too. I can see myself forming quite a long term managerial career on the back of this club. I attended an interview with Aston Villa over their managerial vacancy, but was overlooked in the end. I've turned down a few interviews with sides similar to ours too, and was very tempted by the managerial vacancy at Nottingham Forest. They went up to the Premier League having won this division last year, and I was linked with them sat in 14th in the top flight.

Finally we've managed to complete deals for a couple of promising prospects from Portugal. Neither will walk straight into our side, but i'll be keeping them in the first team and keeping an eye on their progression. If I feel they would be better off with regular game time, then i'll look to pack them out on loan next season. Joao Vasques cost us just £80,000 from Rio Ave in the Portuguese top flight, and Dario Miranda cost just £20,000 from Benfica. Our scouting department believe both possess very good potential to improve, and it'll be interesting to see if we can get the best out of them whilst their with us here.

832372633_JoaoVasquesSigns.thumb.png.043a1e423dc412e7c46f548f3494afb9.png1820683994_DarioMirandaSigns.thumb.png.ee837de892aeff94da956add936dd5d6.png

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@CityAndColour

That's a harsh end to a very good season right there. I have tried several different attempts in that league, and Dulwich Hamlet always seem to be there or there abouts. Play-offs are a lottery and it's a horrible way to miss out on promotion. Hopefully next season will be your year. Tonbridge is my home town, and a save i'm definitely going to attempt at some point. I'll be keeping a real keen eye on your save for sure.

@karanhsingh

Another save i'm desperate to attempt is Sunderland, like you because the documentary was so insightful. Expectations always seem ridiculous there though. Good progress to keep them up. Hopefully you can kick on with them.

@warlock

Your game really seems to link with mine. Unbelievable progress though, and a great read. Keep it up.

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@karanhsingh Good luck with the Mackems, and sympathies for the financial state. I've kicked off my annual Man Utd save before returning to Plymouth to enjoy the feeling of rolling in cash for a while :D

@CityAndColour Tough break at the finish, there - fingers crossed it'll be third time lucky.

@goonergez Finely balanced! I'd prefer to be optimistic and think you can make the playoffs :thup:

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I've also decided to join @warlock in managing Plymouth. I wanted to do a football league save and even though I'm a Torquay fan, Plymouth appealed to me as a local Devon club who I have a soft spot for. Exeter on the other hand...  :herman:

The first thing I looked at was to get the clause sold off for Jack Stephens, sorting out the transfer and wage budget. The only signing I've made so far is this guy

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Having read about him on another thread on this forum, he looks like a real prospect who can score goals through the leagues. At only £500pw, and on a free transfer, he was someone I snapped up pretty quickly. 

The next position that I'm looking to fill is a left back. I'm not comfortable with the captain Gary Sawyer with his lack of pace. I've currently got 32yr old Andrew Taylor on trial following his release from Bolton, and he looks like he could do the job for a season. I'm also looking for a bit of cover in the centre of defense, and have a loan lined up for Dara O'Shea, a 20yr old who spent a spell on loan at Exeter (:mad:) last season.

 

Edited by torquayfmer

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@karanhsingh With a high level of squad turnover, I find it slightly freeing. I'm carrying £55k in wages for two reserve players, but last year with ~£80k leaving it allowed me to not feel so restricted. But yeah, if you compare early free transfers vs loans, it seems the AI focuses so much on getting frees on longer contracts than better players on loans.

 

In other news, there is no way Sergio Gomez should be this good:

image.thumb.png.d318326b5feb2464d6cfd06051603948.png

Absolute filth in the championship, needless to say I'm top after 7 games...

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I am aiming to do a pre-season update tomorrow but just as a hint of things to come.......

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 I decided to take on Crewe as they have a reputation of promoting youth and then selling them on. My ambitions is to keep some of them as we fight for a place in the top flight

Crewe - Season 1
It wasn't easy to get some players in as this team didn't have much of a budget. I had to be a bit creative and look out for loans and frees. I had a parent club in with Chelsea and then I promoted Will Jaaskelainen (Jussi's son) to the first team as I thought he could be a good sweeper keeper. So that meant Dave Richards would be eventually sold and he did for money. Funny enough getting actual money for some mediocre players is hilarious. Brought someone in on a free from the Nordic amateur leagues, gets sent off in his first game and then I sold him at the end of the window :D
Troy Parrott and former Milan youth player Michealangelo Albertazzi headlined the ingoings. God knows how we got those guys. Osasuna legend Miguel Flano also joined for backup. It is a surprise to see guys like that be available to us on the cheap.
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And the results
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We did pretty well to exceed far beyond our expectations. The board expected us to avoid relegation :D. We made the playoffs and got ourselves promoted to League 1.

This tactic was something I picked up upon later in the year. A midseason injury preented me from playing my unordodox 3-4-1-2 shape so I had to be a bit creative. This tactic is based on the one used by Quique Setien for Barca
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And now some players
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Had some moments between the sticks but he checked in a lot of saves and clean sheets and should have a shot in continuing as a starting GK

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Very solid CB that can also fill in as a FB. Good in the air and on the ball.

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Josh's brother and he did pretty well in that DM spot

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Trying despartely to get him in on a free. Did well as a wingbackish role

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Played practically everywhere and did well everywhere

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Glad to bring him back into the fold. Reliable backup and is a Crewe academy graduate.

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Star in the making. That pace is a problem tho but his injuries was the cause for that.

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Another one brewed from the academy. Did well as a quasi-CB/RB role.

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Scored a lot of goals from set pieces and had a good long throw going as well. Still can't believe we got him

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He may as well be the Nordic Lukaku. He is pretty dire in front of goal but decent on the wing and that's where we put him a lot of the times. I'm certainly glad he won't be back

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It is sad that the Spurs don't want him to come back for another season ATM but maybe one day when I have the money I can get him back in. Scored a ton of important goals

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The gamer. Won a lot of games for us espeicially the Playoffs Final

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Here is the crazy game that got us up

And some other notes
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And next season's budget
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Edited by Jean0987654321

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Great result against a strong Newcastle squad in Carabao Cup 2nd round. And I've drawn Everton away in the 3rd round!

FB_IMG_1580256587600.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

got ourselves promoted to League 1

Some impressive results there, but that tactic seems to have solidified things towards the end of the season. Good luck in the 3rd tier!

@QuassoRP Got to love a good cup run, and that's impressive against Newcastle.

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City: 2022/23 Season Review

The World Cup in Qatar came and went, with France defeating Holland to win it for the second successive time, interrupting the world calendar of club football. January soon came though, and with it came a small flurry of activity at the Ricoh Arena. The two previously mentioned Portuguese youngsters both joined us, with Joao Vasques being sent almost straight to Wycombe Wanderers on loan for the rest of the season. Goalkeeper Marko Marosi did indeed leave six months before his contract expiry, joining Rochdale for £49,000. Two youth prospects also left us on permanent deals, with neither of them threatening to break into my first team plans. Left back Nicky Stokes joined Middlesbrough for £200,000, and fourth choice goalkeeper Shaun Hall joined Portsmouth for £115,000. The only other significant deal saw my second choice keeper Jakub Ojrzynski leave to join Salford City on loan for the rest of the season. I was very pleased with our business, and it took our incoming to £2,200,000 and our expenditure to £2,000,000. That kept to my plan of funding our own business with money left over, further strengthening the financial position of the club.

At the break off we were in half decent shape, but needed to hit the ground running upon the leagues return. That didn't really happen. We did begin well though, beating Charlton Athletic 3-0 on boxing day and then high flying Norwich City 1-0 (courtesy of an 88th minute goal by Rhian Brewster) on new years day. The festive period over, things took a turn and January flew by with six defeats in our next eight matches.

February started well enough with victories over Rotherham and Brentford, but then saw a further four defeats as our form began to fall away. Throughout the rest of the season we managed to stay consistently inconsistent. Defensively we'd gone downhill, and the goals dried up (apart from Rhian Brewster). He had a simply sensational season for us, scoring 33 league goals in 41 appearances, clinching the leagues top scorer award in the process. Ashley Hunter was another attacking highlight for us, managing 10 league goals, more than his previous two seasons totals. Other than that we were fairly average across the pitch, even goalkeeper Mile Svilar went backwards, conceding more and making some really poor mistakes in the process. That disappointed me greatly as I was excited to sign him permanently 18 months ago, and we rejected a very reasonable offer of £10,000,000 from Anderlecht for him during the January window. If they return in the summer with that sort of money I will probably cash in.

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The FA Cup saw us entertain Sheffield United at home in the Third Round, and we were irresistibly good. A dominant performance saw Ashley Hunter score twice as we ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. This booked us a game at home to Bristol City in the next round, but we never really got going. Two quick goals early on had us chasing the game, and although Sebastian Picco headed a goal back midway through the second half, we succumbed to a 1-2 defeat and crashed out.

A solid season with clear progress, and definitely some good points to take from it. Our highest Championship finish under my leadership, and more points than in both our previous efforts as well. We've achieved a board vision of consolidating in the Championship two years early, and I've been rewarded with a new two year contract with the club. Whether I see out the deal remains to be seen, but its nice to have the support of the board with what we're trying to achieve. With this season over though, its time to look forward and figure out how I can push this club forwards. My new deal gives me some time, especially as the new club vision still remains to consolidate within this division for the next couple of seasons. I'd like to achieve more than that though, if i'm honest. I want a significant improvement next time around, and a much higher finish up the league table. I'm going to be approaching the summer transfer market in the best way possible to look to push this team towards the play-off positions. I want to take my managerial career to the Premier League, and preferably with this football club. Time will tell if that is achievable, but I want significant progress to be made, and I want it now.

 

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1 hour ago, goonergez said:

We've achieved a board vision of consolidating in the Championship two years early

Looks like solid - if unspectacular - progress. But I'd agree that next season looks like the time to push on and at least challenge for the playoffs. Might need a bit of a squad overhaul to do it, though.

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Blackburn Rovers season 2020/21

 

Transfer window has slammed shut. Our outlay is under £30m. Have I taken a risk? Yes. Will I regret it? Maybe. I didn't feel the squad was strong enough in the Championship last season and was aiming for top 10 before achieving an unlikely title win. The aim for this season is to finish above Brentford and Fulham, the two teams who came up with us. In terms of our transfer dealings we agreed to carry on the loans of Walton (Brighton) and Adarabioyo (Man City), Maitland-Niles and Lacroix were thanked for their services and returned to their parent clubs. Danny Graham and Stewart Downing were allowed to leave on free transfers due to only being bit part players last season. 

We needed to add an experienced centre half to help out at the back and I noticed Rovers academy graduate Grant Hanley was available from relegated Norwich, £750k is a bargain and contains no risk. Alioski was signed from Leeds to play support to Bell, his work rate and determination definitely stand out. Jack Butland is top keeper, £7m is peanuts for an excellent shot stopper, he's our new number 1. Wayne Rooney was an odd one. Not my normal style, no connection to the club, not a prospect, no sell on value but it's Wayne Rooney. He'll do a job supporting Armstrong, Gallagher and Brereton. 

The joker in the hand is Bowen. I'm going to use him as a mezzala, his dribbling, finishing and work rate make him ideal for me in that role. Him on the right of Travis and Dack on the left should help us keep possession and utilise our wing backs to cause damage.

I turned down an interview with Everton in the summer after Ancelotti went to Real Madrid. I was tempted but I'm keen to test myself in the Premier League with the side I am building. Although looking at who Man City and Liverpool have bought I might not enjoy it all that much!

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20200129201410_1.jpg

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Just catching up on this thread... lot of excellent updates!

@StePratt - Bowen in a MEZ role will be interesting! what formation are you playing?

@goonergez - that's another solid season. what position(s) are you looking to upgrade to challenge for play-offs?

@Jean0987654321 - great read and love your choice of club. I remember back in the day with the famous academy, and there were two players who were excellent on one of the earlier CMs/FMs, Etherington and one other who's name I can't recall. Good luck with them! 

@warlock - good luck with United (and hope you fare better than them IRL), but I am sure you will be back here soon enough :)

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Logo_Sunderland.png.b560cdb96febb514929c298a1ab8a822.png

2021/22 Season update

Well, I can't say that it's not been an eventful summer! Some massive changes in the squad, here are the transfers:

20200130130117_1.thumb.jpg.be37849b00ddce34d7e59c43ac578ef7.jpg

OUT

The big one is George Dobson, club captain and ultimate team player. Saints started sniffing around him, I asked for his release clause and they met it. Sad to see him go, but a crucial cash injection that got us out of the red. The other transfers of note were Embleton, Lawrence, Thomas & Ozturk, between whom we raised another 2.6 million around, which was very useful considering none of them were first team players. Also glad to get Watmore, Lynch, McLaughlin, and Hutton off the wage bill. 

IN

Again I am following my new philosophy of NO loan signings unless it's with a realistic option to buy, so we were mainly hunting around the transfer-listed players and ones who's contracts were up. MacGillivray comes in from Pompey to be our new no.1 between the sticks. We picked up two useful squad players from relegated Luton in Galloway who can play CB and LB, and Mpanzu who is my Dobson replacement in terms of being an ultimate team player.

The remaining transfers were all listed players. Jordan Storey was picked up on the cheap to partner another Jordan (Willis) at the back for us - if your name is Jordan and you're playing at Sunderland you usually tend to do pretty well at football! Duhaney comes in to be our first choice right wing back. Clarkson from parent club Liverpool seems a good promising young DLP. Magliore has not really progressed much in this save so far but will be a useful option especially with his pace. And finally the most important and protracted transfer was Michael Obafemi from Saints to give us some much needed pace up front. 

Obafemi was signed after a failure to get Ryan Cassidy who was also listed and signed for Swansea who offered him 1k/week more than us. Cassidy looks absolutely brilliant and is firmly in the "one that got away" category, he is already top scorer in the division including a brace against us. Thankfully, Obafemi is not far behind. 

I also negotiated and eventually accepted a 5.5 million pound bid for Everton for the below new-gen who has come up through the academy, but then pulled out of the transfer because I want to see how he develops at the club. Time will tell if it was the right decision or not. Have already given him a debut off the bench.

20200130130133_1.thumb.jpg.bab967d483322ca82e05a52b12427bc0.jpg

The above leaves our squad looking like this:

20200130130100_1.thumb.jpg.4552832a2c8a81d1fefc51e08d6fc9fe.jpg

We started the season off with the same 3-5-2 shape as last year but recently moved to a 4-4-2 for a few games, I am now undecided on how to play moving forward. If we go 4-4-2 we will need further reinforcements for the wings in Jan. 

Finances are looking much better thanks to player sales and also 26k season tickets sold, however we still lose money every month and are projected to be back in the red before the end of the season.

20200130130141_1.thumb.jpg.acee18b491da4b84e7f50eb25c5f8188.jpg

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25 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Just catching up on this thread... lot of excellent updates!

@StePratt - Bowen in a MEZ role will be interesting! what formation are you playing?

@goonergez - that's another solid season. what position(s) are you looking to upgrade to challenge for play-offs?

@Jean0987654321 - great read and love your choice of club. I remember back in the day with the famous academy, and there were two players who were excellent on one of the earlier CMs/FMs, Etherington and one other who's name I can't recall. Good luck with them! 

@warlock - good luck with United (and hope you fare better than them IRL), but I am sure you will be back here soon enough :)

Thank you. It is quite an interesting challenge. I have a few players already available to me (Kirk, Jones, Ng, Lowery, Will, Pickering) and hopefully we can get these guys to be our core of the team for years to come

Edited by Jean0987654321

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Logo_Sunderland.png.b560cdb96febb514929c298a1ab8a822.png

2021/22 Season update

Well, I can't say that it's not been an eventful summer! Some massive changes in the squad, here are the transfers:

20200130130117_1.thumb.jpg.be37849b00ddce34d7e59c43ac578ef7.jpg

OUT

The big one is George Dobson, club captain and ultimate team player. Saints started sniffing around him, I asked for his release clause and they met it. Sad to see him go, but a crucial cash injection that got us out of the red. The other transfers of note were Embleton, Lawrence, Thomas & Ozturk, between whom we raised another 2.6 million around, which was very useful considering none of them were first team players. Also glad to get Watmore, Lynch, McLaughlin, and Hutton off the wage bill. 

IN

Again I am following my new philosophy of NO loan signings unless it's with a realistic option to buy, so we were mainly hunting around the transfer-listed players and ones who's contracts were up. MacGillivray comes in from Pompey to be our new no.1 between the sticks. We picked up two useful squad players from relegated Luton in Galloway who can play CB and LB, and Mpanzu who is my Dobson replacement in terms of being an ultimate team player.

The remaining transfers were all listed players. Jordan Storey was picked up on the cheap to partner another Jordan (Willis) at the back for us - if your name is Jordan and you're playing at Sunderland you usually tend to do pretty well at football! Duhaney comes in to be our first choice right wing back. Clarkson from parent club Liverpool seems a good promising young DLP. Magliore has not really progressed much in this save so far but will be a useful option especially with his pace. And finally the most important and protracted transfer was Michael Obafemi from Saints to give us some much needed pace up front. 

Obafemi was signed after a failure to get Ryan Cassidy who was also listed and signed for Swansea who offered him 1k/week more than us. Cassidy looks absolutely brilliant and is firmly in the "one that got away" category, he is already top scorer in the division including a brace against us. Thankfully, Obafemi is not far behind. 

I also negotiated and eventually accepted a 5.5 million pound bid for Everton for the below new-gen who has come up through the academy, but then pulled out of the transfer because I want to see how he develops at the club. Time will tell if it was the right decision or not. Have already given him a debut off the bench.

20200130130133_1.thumb.jpg.bab967d483322ca82e05a52b12427bc0.jpg

The above leaves our squad looking like this:

20200130130100_1.thumb.jpg.4552832a2c8a81d1fefc51e08d6fc9fe.jpg

We started the season off with the same 3-5-2 shape as last year but recently moved to a 4-4-2 for a few games, I am now undecided on how to play moving forward. If we go 4-4-2 we will need further reinforcements for the wings in Jan. 

Finances are looking much better thanks to player sales and also 26k season tickets sold, however we still lose money every month and are projected to be back in the red before the end of the season.

20200130130141_1.thumb.jpg.acee18b491da4b84e7f50eb25c5f8188.jpg

I looked at Jordan Storey at the end of season two but he was guna cost £7m+ so ended up going with someone else.

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Just catching up on all the stories having not been on FM since my last update due to work & travelling. There are too many to name or quote, but all great reading.

One thing that caught my attention was Bowen being signed for Blackburn and putting him in a very different role. Good luck with that, and I hope this won't affect his performances for me at Hull when I get my final 10 games under way.

 

 

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6 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

@warlock - good luck with United (and hope you fare better than them IRL), but I am sure you will be back here soon enough :)

I'll be back here imminently - the United save is one I do every year, more out of a sense of duty than enjoyment. It becomes too easy, too quickly.

I played through the summer window with Plymouth but somehow ended up a with a squad that was marginally weaker than the one that got us promoted. Even putting all of the available transfer budget into wages, I couldn't attract anyone of any quality and there seemed to be many fewer free transfer targets than a year earlier. After weighing up the options I decided to call it a day - a year of getting spanked week after week didn't appeal, oddly enough!

My next save might strike many as unusual, but I've decided to go back to Ipswich - scene of my very first FM20 endeavours. The inspiration has been reading a number of profiles and articles about the great man, Sir Bobby Robson, and his wondrous achievements with the Tractor Boys. In particular, this quote about the side that won the 1981 UEFA Cup: "We played with two strikers, no wingers, Eric Gates sitting off the front two, two semi-wide midfield players in Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen and Johnny Wark sitting in the holding role".

At first in my Stoke City save and then at Plymouth I was running a 4132 system with considerable success, but at Plymouth I morphed it into 4312 to get more out of Danny Mayor at AMC - exactly what Robson describes: two strikers, a player behind the front two, and a  pair of mezzalas beside a holding midfielder. Perfect!

The aims of the save will be:

1. Promotion to the Championship.

2. Promotion to the Premiership.

3. Replicate Sir Bobby's trophy list: an FA Cup, a League Cup, and a European trophy.

4. Along the way, if possible, win the PL title.

It may take some time :lol:.

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Coventry City: 2023/24 Season Preview

So i'm now four complete seasons into my career at Coventry, with a newly signed contract keeping me here for potentially a further two yet. I see this season as a massive one for this club though, and indeed my future. In my time here we've successfully gained promotion, and then consolidated safely as a Championship side. Off of the field the financial situation looks much stronger, and is improving year on year. This season feels massive though, and i'm desperately seeking significant progress. I approached the summer as an opportunity to try and upgrade our first team squad and push on for a spot much higher up the league table. I'd like to be pushing for the play-off spots, and would like promotion before the expiry of my current managerial contract.

Departure wise it was a big summer for us, with some big money coming in, and some fringe players leaving the club. Gaetano Berardi completed a pre-contract agreement to join Neuchatel Xamax of Switzerland, and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey retired from playing. Two old heads gone off of our wage bill, which was pleasing. Fellow veteran Liam Kelly left at the expiration of his deal with us to, as did Duncan Watmore and young goalkeeper Cian Tyler. Young fringe players Cian Cosslett (Eastleigh), Alan Currie (Blackpool) and Joao Vasques (Southend United) all left the club on loan to further their football educations for the coming season.

Money wide we absolutely raked it in, and made some truly remarkable profit. Money which will set this club up well for several years. Goalkeeper Mile Svilar attracted a big bid from Anderlecht back in January, and he was sold to Young Boys in a deal of £6,500,000 which could rise up to £8,000,000. 19-year old Erwann David also left, joining Bournemouth for an initial £4,700,000 (which could rise as high as £10,000,000). Neither had set the world alight for us, and we made £10,000,000 in profit, even before any potential add-ons. Young right back Edward Bastock also left for cash, joining Luton Town for £250,000 before ever making a matchday squad for us. My only real tough decision was the decision to let Jordan Rossiter leave the club. He'd been a regular for us, but a £1,000,000 offer (all profit after his free transfer last summer) from Birmingham City was accepted and he departed. 23-year old winger Luke McCowan returned to his home land, joining St Mirren in a £200,000 deal.

As soon as last season had ended, I started thinking about this coming campaign. Rhian Brewster, Raphael Schwarz and Sebastian Picco all had their loan deals with us extended for another year, and then it was about trying to add some significant quality to our squad. Our most expensive outlay was on a replacement for goalkeeper Mile Svilar. 27-year old Joel Coleman was the chosen man, and £800,000 was parted with to bring him in from Melbourne Victory as our first choice stopper. We also added 34-year old Ralf Fahrmann as backup after his release from Schalke 04.

Three younger prospects were added to our first team squad too, with all of them sure to feature over the season. 19-year old striker Joseph Rimmer the most exciting. He joined from Newcastle for jut £20,000 and will play backup to Rhian Brewster. 20-year old central midfielder Heiri Canella also came in, from Basel for £300,000 to replace Erwann David. I looked at signing him last summer, but with all the money that came in this summer felt that it was a good deal for us this time around. 17-year old right full back Lee Moore also arrived, from Shrewsbury Town for £150,000 in order to offer defensive cover. 33-year old Craig Dawson came in for the same reason. He was picked up after his release from top-flight Leicester City. He made 12 league appearances for them last season, and we fought off a lot of interest to grab his signature on a two year deal.

I've saved our most exciting summer arrival for last though. Andre Green is sure to be a key man for us, with his ability to play on both flanks a real key part of the decision to sign him. I very nearly grabbed him in January for £400,000 but decided against spending the money at that point. He's ended up costing a further £100,000 on top of that, but should prove to be a man we can build our team around. He's only 24-years old, and i'm looking forward to seeing him pull on our sky blue kit.

All in all a very busy summer, but an exciting one. We've got some really good players in our first team, and still plenty of money left in the bank. Hopefully we can hit the ground hard, and get a really good start. I'm excited to kick off, and hope that these players can help to take us forward. Speaking of which, i'll do a brief review of our squad shortly, so you guys get more of an understanding of who's involved.

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Coventry City Squad: August 2023

On the back of a busy summer at the Ricoh Arena, I though it might be nice to give a brief overview on our current first team crop. There's a couple of names within it who were here upon my arrival, but most of them new. As I get set to embark on a fifth season in charge at the club, here is the players I've tasked with trying to make improvement to our league performances. In brackets are their current appearances and goals for us within league competitions.

Goalkeepers

Joel Coleman 27-year old Joel was signed this summer, in an £800,000 deal from Melbourne Victory after three solid seasons out in the A-League. His return to England comes after he began his career with spells at both Oldham Athletic and Huddersfield Town.

Ralf Fahrmann The 34-year old German left Schalke 04 this summer, having been there for the entirety of his professional career. Was signed on a one year contract, returning to England after a successful loan deal with Norwich City back in the 2019/20 season.

Jakub Ojrzynski (10 apps) Polish under 20s international who was signed by the club back in the summer of 2021 after his release from Liverpool. Has appeared in the first team, but spent the last two seasons away on loan, with Gateshead and then Salford City.

Defenders

Craig Dawson Another summer recruit, 33-year old Craig was released by Leicester City after three seasons at the Premier League club. Most noted for a six year spell with West Brom, and offers valuable experience to a young defensive unit.

Sebastian Picco (81apps 3goals) The 22-year old Argentinian centre-back will stay on loan at the club for a third season, from Portuguese side Benfica. Capped at uner-20s level, he's got a big career ahead of him.

Joel Latibeaudiere (68apps 4goals) 23-year old English centre-back joined the club back in 2022 after the end of his contract with Manchester City. He's been a superb signing and recently signed a new three year contract to remain at the club.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (119apps) Picked up after the clubs promotion to the Championship in the summer of 2020. The left-back made ten appearances in the Premier League with Manchester United, but joined after the club released him from his contract.

Raphael Schwarz (41apps) 20-year old Austrian right back on loan from Juventus. The Italian giants spent £4,900,000 to sign him from LASK in his homeland, before loaning him to us last season. Back again as we managed to negotiate a second term for his services.

Lee Moore 17-year old right back signed this summer from Shrewsbury Town for £150,000. Exciting prospect who is a risk, having never played a senior game.

Dario Miranda (15apps) The 20-year old Portuguese full back was signed from Benfica for £20,000 last summer. Has the ability to play on both sides of the defence and looks like an exciting prospect.

Brandon Mason (130apps) The 25-year old left back has made well over 100 appearances for the club, but is very much on the fringes of the matchday squad now. He joined the club from Watford back in the summer of 2018.

Midfielders

Jamie Allen (134apps 1goal) The 28-year old central midfielder joined the club from Burton Albion just before my arrival at the club. He's probably our best player, and is a stalwall of our starting line up, although fairly injury prone.

Jake Cain (36apps) The 21-year old midfielder was picked up on a free transfer last summer, after his contract with Liverpool came to an end. Featured on the fringes of the starting line up last season, but will be much more of a regular this time around.

Heiri Canella Another summer arrival, the 20-year old central midfielder joined from Basel for £300,000. Laid on 17 assists last season for the Basel under-21s side, and looks a very promising player.

Joao Vasques The 19-year old Portuguese winger joined from Rio Ave in his homeland in a £80,000 deal back in January of this year. Spent the end of last season on loan at Wycombe, and has a loan with League One side Southend United for this coming campaign.

Joseph Rimmer The 19-year old joined for £20,000 from Newcastle United this summer in a highly anticipated deal. Capable of playing in central midfield, or up front, we fought off a host of top flight teams to grab his signature on a long term deal.

Andrija Vidovic (26apps 4goals) The 19-year old Croatian was signed on a free transfer having never been on the books of a professional side. He forced his way into our side off a superb League Cup hat-trick early last season, and has gone on to be capped 10 times at under-21 level for his home nation. Big future lies ahead of him.

Andre Green The 25-year old joined this summer in a highly coveted £500,000 deal. The winger had been on the books of Aston Villa since 2013, but wanted to leave after making just eight appearances over the last three seasons for them. Another we fought off big competition for.

Sezgin Aleksiev (84apps 18goals) Initially joined the club on loan, Sezgin signed permanently a year later in a big £1,500,000 deal from Barnsley. The 21-year old winger looks extremely promising, but needs a good year after disappointing last time around.

Wesley Jobello (160apps 33goals) Another who joined before my arrival. The 29-year old Martinique international has been a key component in the clubs last few seasons. Last campaign was a little disappointing, but will still be integral to all things good. 

Jordy Hiwula (184apps 51goals) The 27-year old Angolan international joined the club in 2018 from Fleetwood Town and has gone on to become a Coventry City legend. Over 50 goals for the club, but may move more onto the fringes now some of the younger players have started to be more creative.

Forwards

Rhian Brewster (165apps 94goals) 23-year old striker who is now about to begin a fifth season on loan at the club. He's been top league goal scorer in two of our campaigns, and is also capable of filling in on the right wing if injuries take their toll.

Ashley Hunter (98apps 19goals) The 27-year old enjoyed his best season with us last year, having joined from Fleetwood Town in January of 2021 for £80,000. Can play on either flank or up top, and will continue to be a big part of our squad this season.

Alan Currie (20apps 3goals) A promising talent, 19-year old forward who will spend this season on loan with Blackpool.

 

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This is the tactic I use. I change the mentality to suit the situation. Pretty much stuck to this system after tweaking my original a few weeks into the first season.

20200130194556_1.jpg

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Started a Forest Green save this week.  It’s gone pretty well....

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won the leasing.com and the Euro Cup II last year so in the Euro Cup proper for season 24/25, this is my line up going into that season...
 

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Edited by Burty76

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Going into the home-stretch of my 2nd season at Sunderland, things are going pretty well! 

We are at the top of the league, 6 points ahead of 3rd place as we push for promotion.

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The Jan transfer window ended up being fairly eventful, club vice-captain Max Power wanted a new challenge so he moved Stateside. We brought in home-grown George Honeyman as his replacement. Also sold off that newgen Parsons for 2 million as he has a crappy personality and was making no progress.

20200131175936_1.thumb.jpg.05b9cda8ef270e4451355e4705c8020a.jpg 

The window also coincided with our worst run of form with 4 defeats in 5 games, which spurred me into a couple of loan signings, significantly Sam Greenwood (another ex-academy product) from Arsenal. He seems to be forming a good partnership with Obafemi up-front. Speaking of who, he has been developing very well this season and is also leading the league scoring charts. Look at those physicals!

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Away from the league, we blew a fantastic chance to reach Wembley crashing out in the Carabao Cup semi finals against fellow Championship side Stoke. Completely choked after winning the home leg. And in the FA Cup we went down to my ex-club 1-0 for another early exit. Fortunately, we do seem to have found some form again.

20200131180018_1.thumb.jpg.df3531d73b313bed896ddde135733862.jpg

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Hull City Season 1

With 10 games to go, my Hull side were sat in 2nd behind Leeds - but with teams like Brentford pushing hard to claim automatic promotion

In March, the home form was nervy but two wins on the road maintained 2nd spot

April saw my once solid side gifting goals left, right and centre - but luckily the attacking gems at my disposal were scoring enough to hold that position

The final game of the regular season saw my side travel to mid-table Cardiff, whilst Brentford hosted a medoiocre (but safe) Barnsley side

I had a one point advantage and better goal difference than The Bees, so promotion was in my hands but by no means a done deal

I ended up gifting an 89th minute equaliser to my opponents and at the time Brentford was 0-0 (enough for me)

As my game drifted to conclusion, I discovered that Barnsley had scored in stoppage time to win 1-0 and my side was up

380055997_HullCity_Fixtures1.4.thumb.png.2ce085e7685993ff2050db231e0ffd65.png

Leeds were worthy champions, but I was delighted to hit 100 league goals - less impressed by my goals against tally though

191928603_Hullleaguetable1.0.thumb.png.5ec2b6c1cd033d62bcf5375689c992e9.png

Here is a review of the season

262667675_Hullseason1review.thumb.png.1e303f9835129c7fc1a94f474d4099c9.png

The graph shows my side had been cemented in 2nd for most of the season, and the stats show who contributed the most to this unlikely success

1862362096_Hullprogress1.4.thumb.png.688c63f7e109c2af5bd70aa324a8b378.png

Here are the player stats across all competitions

242094167_HullCity_Players1.3.thumb.png.e554ea582fa1887d8b0806298ba9a9dd.png

76257576_HullCity_Players1.4.thumb.png.8ae082bc87027609cffbad549617632f.png

And the main man, of course was Jarrod Bowen with 31 league goals in 45 appearances playing exclusively as an inside forward on the right flank

It will not be a surprise to hear he got the Player of the Year award from the Hull fans, with 77% of the vote going in his favour 

He finished league top scorer and topped the assist charts too (El Kaabi was third top scorer and Grosicki was second in the assist charts)

175201493_JarrodBowen_Attributes.thumb.png.4969186065e867d4c79c2e98a0b2e53f.png

After seeing both Bowen and Grosicki leave the club on deadline day, I've decided to end this enjoyable adventure here

The effect of their departures was visible by the 5-1 home defeat to Brentford today, and it's now exactly the right time for me to move on

I really enjoyed my time with Hull, and managing Bowen was a real privilege - something I wanted to do for a couple of years and which didn't disappoint at all

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15 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Hull City Season 1

With 10 games to go, my Hull side were sat in 2nd behind Leeds - but with teams like Brentford pushing hard to claim automatic promotion

In March, the home form was nervy but two wins on the road maintained 2nd spot

April saw my once solid side gifting goals left, right and centre - but luckily the attacking gems at my disposal were scoring enough to hold that position

The final game of the regular season saw my side travel to mid-table Cardiff, whilst Brentford hosted a medoiocre (but safe) Barnsley side

I had a one point advantage and better goal difference than The Bees, so promotion was in my hands but by no means a done deal

I ended up gifting an 89th minute equaliser to my opponents and at the time Brentford was 0-0 (enough for me)

As my game drifted to conclusion, I discovered that Barnsley had scored in stoppage time to win 1-0 and my side was up

380055997_HullCity_Fixtures1.4.thumb.png.2ce085e7685993ff2050db231e0ffd65.png

Leeds were worthy champions, but I was delighted to hit 100 league goals - less impressed by my goals against tally though

191928603_Hullleaguetable1.0.thumb.png.5ec2b6c1cd033d62bcf5375689c992e9.png

Here is a review of the season

262667675_Hullseason1review.thumb.png.1e303f9835129c7fc1a94f474d4099c9.png

The graph shows my side had been cemented in 2nd for most of the season, and the stats show who contributed the most to this unlikely success

1862362096_Hullprogress1.4.thumb.png.688c63f7e109c2af5bd70aa324a8b378.png

Here are the player stats across all competitions

242094167_HullCity_Players1.3.thumb.png.e554ea582fa1887d8b0806298ba9a9dd.png

76257576_HullCity_Players1.4.thumb.png.8ae082bc87027609cffbad549617632f.png

And the main man, of course was Jarrod Bowen with 31 league goals in 45 appearances playing exclusively as an inside forward on the right flank

It will not be a surprise to hear he got the Player of the Year award from the Hull fans, with 77% of the vote going in his favour 

He finished league top scorer and topped the assist charts too (El Kaabi was third top scorer and Grosicki was second in the assist charts)

175201493_JarrodBowen_Attributes.thumb.png.4969186065e867d4c79c2e98a0b2e53f.png

After seeing both Bowen and Grosicki leave the club on deadline day, I've decided to end this enjoyable adventure here

The effect of their departures was visible by the 5-1 home defeat to Brentford today, and it's now exactly the right time for me to move on

I really enjoyed my time with Hull, and managing Bowen was a real privilege - something I wanted to do for a couple of years and which didn't disappoint at all

You probably are right to leave it as Hull are going to struggle in real life after selling their 2 best players and losing today.

I bet you will run out of teams to manage in a few weeks lol.

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10 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I really enjoyed my time with Hull, and managing Bowen was a real privilege

Sounds like a near-perfect save :cool:.

I have been burdened with domestic duties involving paints and brushes, but I hope to post an update soon.

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

Sounds like a near-perfect save :cool:.

I have been burdened with domestic duties involving paints and brushes, but I hope to post an update soon.

Cheers. Yes I think it was pretty much perfect. On to the next one...

Good luck with Ipswich, I loved that team they had from mid-70's to the mid 80's too. John Wark was amazing with the amount of goals he scored - perhaps more a box-to-box player no?

Apologies for not mentioning the great updates from Sunderland and Coventry above , and I'm also looking forward to hearing about Tranmere too QuassoRP.

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Coventry City: 2023/24 Season Review

For me this season was absolutely massive, as I took charge of Coventry for a fifth season. My career here started perfectly, winning the League One title in my very first season. Since then we've managed to stabilise as a solid Championship team, and this was the first season in which I felt we need not worry about being dragged into a battle for safety. The squad was strengthened over the summer, as I looked to push this club forward and start thinking about a return to the promised land, of the Premier League. It wouldn't be easy, but I was confident that our squad, style and togetherness would give us a genuine opportunity.

We opened the season against recently relegated Derby County, and my team shocked with a simply superb performance. Summer arrival Andre Green grabbed a brace as we cruised to a 3-1 victory to kick off in the perfect way. That gave me high hopes, but we fell flat on our face just three days later. Huddersfield Town had a poor season last time around, but thumped us 0-3 to bring us back to reality. We then drew four and lost two to fall apart after that opening day performance. We ended September with a brilliant 1-0 victory away at Millwall, as Ashley Hunter scored the winner. He'd began the season strongly, and had taken the lone striker role off of Rhian Brewster after several goals.

We began October with a disappointing defeat to Bristol City, before Ashley Hunter scored back to back hat-tricks in 3-0 victories over Stoke City and Cardiff City. This began a revival and we flew up the table as we carried on winning throughout November and December. Andre Green had been brilliant since his summer signing, and Ashley Hunter was finding the net on a regular basis.

January was a rather quiet month for us, and I didn't want to unsettle a side that had finally begun to perform consistently well. I did a lot of business during the pre-season and was happy with the squad as it was. There was one arrival though, albeit a loan deal. 22-year old central midfielder Harvey White had performed brilliantly on loan at Rotherham, and I did try to bring him to the club on a full time basis. Spurs weren't interested in selling though, so we snapped him up on loan until the end of the season. He was signed to offer cover to our midfield which he did, making eight appearances for us over the rest of the campaign. There were a couple of departures too, neither of them from the first team. Blaine Rowe joined the MK Dons for £27,000, and David Richardson left for Luton Town for £19,000. Nether were going to make it in our first team anyway, although Richardson did make three substitute appearances back in our first Championship campaign.

The activity in the transfer market did nothing to unsettle us, and we cruised through January and February, losing just once. We dropped some points, but were far more consistent and at one stage closed the gap to the automatic promotion spots right down to just three points. March and April were unfortunately very hit and miss though. The pressure of trying to clinch promotion hit, and we started to drop more and more points. We fell off the pace for automatic promotion, but were still looking on track for a spot in the play-offs. A crunch game against leaders Aston Villa hurt our chances, and saw us drop out of the play-off positions. We fought back brilliantly from 0-2 down to level up, but fell away in the final ten minutes and were beaten 2-4. That game also clinching the league title for our opponents.

We went into the last round of fixtures sat 7th, just a point outside of the play-off places. Playing host to AFC Wimbledon, I was confident we'd pick up the necessary victory, therefore relying on Crystal Palace or Bristol City to slip up and allow us to leapfrog. Bristol City looked like they should win, but Palace were playing host to the champions Aston Villa, hunting a win to finish on 100 league points. We had the perfect start, Ashley Hunter scoring his 21st league goal of the season to give us a 20th minute lead. Crystal Palace also fell behind, and we were heading for the play-offs. The second half was nerve racking, but we clung on for victory, and Palace were beaten 0-2. We had done it, and we had qualified for the play-offs, where we would play against Sheffield United.

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We played hosts in the first leg and I was expecting a very tense affair. Our opponents had only missed out on automatic promotion on the final day, finishing behind Portsmouth and in 3rd. I set my team up cautiously and it worked. We were outplayed throughout, but a superb defensive display saw us hold on for a 0-0 draw, and turn the tie into a one match shootout four days later.

We approached the second game slightly more positive and it paid off on 36 minutes. Ashley Hunter finished off a superb team move to help us to a 1-0 lead at the break. We went more defensive in the second half and it did look to be paying off. That was until the 84th minute, when Tom Trybull pounced to level the game up. That equaliser sparked the game into life though, and a minute later young Croatian winger Andrija Vidovic pounced on a huge goalkeeping error to give us the lead again. Suddenly the game was stretched, and just two minutes later we conceded again. After half dealing with an attack we were done by a long-range wonder strike, and it was 2-2.

Our opponents had taken the initiative in the game, and I seriously started to panic as we ticked into injury time. Then a potential breakthrough, four minutes into five added minutes. We were awarded a free kick wide on the right hand side. Jamie Allen swung in a perfect delivery, the goalkeeper flapped, and Vidovic headed home his second into an empty net. The whistle went moments after the restart, and a 3-2 victory was secured, a play off final at Wembley against Leeds United awaiting us.

The final was a heart breaking day for us though. We put in pretty good performance, and in the early stages we threatened to cause an upset. We conceded right on the stroke of half time though and never bounced back. We went after the equaliser after the break, and eventually we were picked off and lost 0-2. We did however give a good account of ourselves and I was proud to get as close as we actually did.

134902316_Playoffdefeat.thumb.png.20b332540ff2a20807058de7b8e0faad.png

Neither of the cup competitions proved particularly fruitful for us this season, although I did use both of them as opportunities to give the fringe players some game time and rest our key men. We got through Ipswich Town on penalties in the First Round of the League Cup, after an eventful 2-2 draw. A penalty shoot out victory giving us a home tie against Swansea City in the Second Round. We never really turned up in that game though, and were comfortably beaten 3-5. The only bonus being that young Joshua Rimmer scored his first goal for the club.

The FA Cup was slightly better. After Middlesbrough had a man sent off in the first minute of the game, we thanked goals from Rhian Brewster and Ashley Hunter to advance to the Fourth Round. Jake Cain then scored a first half winner as we beat Sheffield United 1-0 away, before our run ended. A fifth Round tie away at the Emirates Stadium was exciting, but eventually Arsenal saw us off. Rhian Brewster gave us a 5th miute lead, but we were comfortably beaten 1-3 to end our domestic cup interest for another year.

All things considered, a very pleasing season. I said I wanted a vast improvement, and we definitely got one. To make the play-offs may have ended in a devastating way, but it was my pre-season target and i'm delighted with the side. Now its about bouncing back and making sure that next season is ours. My contract expires at the end of the current campaign and I will almost certainly leave if we don't gain promotion. 

Just days after the season ended the news came out that the club debts had all been cleared. A really good piece of news, and some sense of reward for my great financial control since taking over. Thoughts have turned o next season, and how to ensure we can at least match this season. Rhian Brewster will not be returning again, as I've chosen not to attempt to keep him. Ashley Hunter managed 21 league goals in 39 appearances, with Brewster disappointing with just 12. Sebastian Picco has already agreed to return for another year, and we've confirmed a marquee signing too. Former Arsenal and Manchester United man Alexis Sanchez signing a one year deal with us. The 35-year old ill come in on a free transfer at the end of his deal with SM Caen in France.

 

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