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4-3-3 with lower league side (need some advice)

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Hi everyone. I have been trying to get this tactic to work but I have not had success. A quick introduction to begin with. I am the manager at Chester FC, who when you start off are in the BSN. I got back to back promotions. I won the BSN and then got promoted in the playoffs of the BSP. My first season in League 2 I avoided relegation on the final day. I needed a win and came from down 0 - 3 at halftime to win 4 - 3. The worst part of this was I left the room because I was so furious with the way the team was playing that when I came back to see 4 - 3 I was in total shock. Anyways my budget was increased and I brought in more talent any my youngsters were developing into stars. Now it's my second season in League 2 and I am just above relegation zone again. I still have time to turn it around and get a playoff spot, which is exactly what I need since I promised my 2 star players we would get promotion this season.


So I have been setting my team up over the past 2 seasons for a 4-3-3. It was looking good in the preseason, but once the season got going we were either drawing or losing. I cannot figure out why the tactic simply is not working. One match we will score 3, but give up 3 or 4. The next we can't score at all and either give up 1 goal or none at all. Now I know teams are more likely to adjust their tactics against yours and figure you out, but I have not had success with it at all in the season.


I recently switched to 4-2-2-2. 2 midfielders, 2 high wingers, and 2 strikers and I have gone on a nice run getting 3 wins and 2 draws. 4-4-2 was mixed in there as well to counter some of my opponents tactics. I usually do research before a match and see what tactic my opponents struggle against the most which I how I decide if I go with 4-2-2-2 or 4-4-2. Now the only difference between those two formations and my 4-3-3 is I move the anchor up to a striker position to play as an advanced forward. I'm not sure how but my possession improves even though my midfield is thinner. With these two formations I usually tell the squad to play wider and will add pass into space, get the ball forward, and look for overlap if we are passing well and maintaining possession.


Now I believe right now I'm having success with these two tactics because I never used them prior in the season so teams are a little surprised by it, but my 4-3-3 was always getting ripped apart. Here is how I have it set up:




Players are out of position because I just switched from 4-2-2-2 to take the picture of the tactic.


Does anyone see any problems here? The team instructions are pretty much identical to the other two formations I play with. My players aren't the best in the league, but they are definitely not the worst and I have lost to worse teams than me using this tactic. I signed players with this tactic in mind so they should be fitting into this formation well. Any ideas?
 
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if you want to keep direct passing and counter attack, you should narrow the width and give more defensive duties to your fullbacks, and assign stopper duties to your CB's or you will concede most from crosses. Also, when counter attack is on, the team automatically increases tempo and commits players to attack, regardless of your instructions, so there is no need to keep tempo high, unless you want to lose that little possesion that you have...Use a fast poacher in front and a deep lying playmaker to feed him through balls. And use a deep defensive line
 
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Maybe reduce the tempo a bit. Also as Igneos79 said, the width is a bit risky imo, at least for lower league teams. And the creative freedom at default? May be you should try with diciplined instead..duo to the lack of flair in the lower leagues, although it can work for lower leagues.. im just talking from my experience as i love to play lower league teams :)

I wish you the best.. good luck
 
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