Chasing The Dream

FMSaddler96

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Feb 10, 2016
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Hi, this is my new story. I received little response from the last one so would appreciate any feedback for this so I know people are reading and enjoying the story.

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Hi, I'm Mr. FM Saddler. 20 years old and with no prospects in life after a struggling teenage years I am chasing my life long dream. I always wanted to be in football, but unfortunately had no skill at all when it came to playing the game.

My school years were wasted, when I wasn't messing around with friends I was spending my time at home playing Fifa and Football Manager. Now at 20 years old I don't know where else I could go except to try chase my footballing career dream and chase management.

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I have no Licence's and no experience in football so this isn't going to be an easy journey where I can fight for my dream. I have picked up some basics from playing the games and watching since I was a kid and I have developed some skills and mentalities that I think I could transfer into my managerial roles.

I'm not expecting to get anything or anywhere soon but I love football and I want to show that love in my career and my life.
 

FMSaddler96

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Feb 10, 2016
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BREAKING NEWS!
Weston-Super-Mare are proud to announce the signing of manager FM Saddler. The 20 year old is an unknown to football but has signed a 1 year contract on £750 a week.

Previously without footballing experience the non-league club are taking a chance as they are expected to do go down this season and feel a new mind and way of thinking could benefit there season and fight for survival.

The 20 year old released a brief statement.

"I am proud to be here today and would like to thank the club for their faith in me. I know I am an unknown man but I also know that I have ideologies and methods which I feel will transfer well into the game of football.

I have complete faith in myself and this squad to survive this season."

With the manager sounding very confident despite his lack of skill and experience Weston-Super-Mare will be one of the stories of the season and will be fun to watch.

 

FMSaddler96

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Who are Weston-Super-Mare?
In the south of England Weston-Super-Mare are a stalwart side in the Conference South but they are expected to drop out of the league in what is their 12th consecutive year in the division.

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Founded in 1887 they are a semi-professional side and have struggled to make an impact in their 11 year stint in the division.

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In a small stadium with a capacity of just 3500 they don't get many high attendances but the lack of excitement at the Woodspring in recent years has seen a decline.

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The club have pretty basic, if not below average facilities and have struggled to develop them with a poor financial income. The facilities in place are part of the reason they are expected to struggle this season.
 

FMSaddler96

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Expectations
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These are my expectations for the season and they are very low. With just the expectation to fight for survival my chances of under performing in the league are low but I definitely expect to be able to beat the drop with a squad which I have put together (which will be shown later on).

The cups again are filled with low expectations. I'm expected to get to the final round of qualifying for the FA Cup but I feel if I get a decent draw I can get into the first round and hopefully get a good draw to boost finances. We are also expected to just make the FA Trophy 1st Round.

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The media also give us no hope of survival as well as they expect us to be rock bottom of the league with odds showing us as the worst team in the league. Chelmsford and Concord who are expected to be the teams in the relegation fight for the second spot have a much better set of odds.

So with expectations low it should be a relaxed season but I am hoping that I can get survival and prove my skills in the league and hopefully get a cup run to help boost the finances of the small club. With the expectations set I know where I am in terms of how hard this career can be and I can begin the fight for survival.
 

FMSaddler96

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Feb 10, 2016
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Pre-Season
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It was a mixed pre-season as I had to build a squad and add the depth and quality that would be required for the survival fight.

We started off with a fantastic performance against our under 21's in which we dominated the game using an attacking formation, one that will rarely be used this season. McClennan put his claim in for a starting spot with a second half brace whilst star player Plummer added to the tally as well.

Our only away game of pre-season was next and despite being the higher quality side we couldn't hold on to a first half 2 goal lead as the hosts fought back for a draw.

Two games against bigger sides were to follow and both Conference sides Torquay and Eastleigh dominated the play in the two games but there were good showings as we created a few decent chances but just struggled to find the finishes in two 3-0 losses.

We ended with a win as we took on amateur side Splott. The 2-0 win was our best performance of the pre-season fixtures as Plummer added to his tally for the 5 games and Camper made a late bid to become the starting striker for our upcoming season.

August Preview
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With a busy month coming up which has 7 league games we have a tough job of predicting what we can achieve. With no way of predicting how teams will play I can only say I want at least 6 points from these games.

The Concord game is a big one as both of us are expected to struggle but after that the games are all wide open with the other sides being favourites for the games. I expect to get at least 1 win but possibly 2 and at least 2 or 3 draws in the month.
 

TicTactition

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Good luck mate, I'm currently doing a save with a similar theme. I took over Havant & Waterlooville and after a year of reviving them through a struggle I've currently had 2 failed play-off seasons. This year though I've kept a good core of players and added a little quality. Dartford have just been taken over by a tycoon however and come in for my best player who I managed to get 800k for him although we are in the same league. It's basically built my foundations for the future.
 

FMSaddler96

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Tactics
So after a pre-season of settling into and adjusting my tactics I have 3 set tactics which will give us a chance of fighting for survival.

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This tactic is the one which will be used most. We will look to counter teams quickly and hit them on the break. With a large pitch to use at home games I expect the wingers and striker to be able to break forward with pace and find space to create chances.

Exploiting the flanks will be key to the role whilst we will also rely on the defensive midfielder to provide cover for the back 4.

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This tactic may also see a lot of use in away games when we are expected to struggle. The back five will be expected to sit back whilst the 3 midfielders will be aiming to win the second balls and get it forward quickly.

With no wingers the full backs will be expected to break down the wings and provide the wide play.

View attachment 147020This is the final of our 3 tactics and completely different to the others. The aim of this is to control play whilst pressing and pushing forward a lot. With a midfield 3 and two wide wingers we need to move the ball around and get the ball into the box by passing around teams.

It will mainly be utilised for home games when we are the favourite but this may only happen if we can get a strong start to the season and be around mid-table after the first couple of months of the season.
 

FMSaddler96

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Feb 10, 2016
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Good luck mate, I'm currently doing a save with a similar theme. I took over Havant & Waterlooville and after a year of reviving them through a struggle I've currently had 2 failed play-off seasons. This year though I've kept a good core of players and added a little quality. Dartford have just been taken over by a tycoon however and come in for my best player who I managed to get 800k for him although we are in the same league. It's basically built my foundations for the future.
Thanks mate! No idea how this going to go. I've done well with lower league teams before and have turned relegation teams into promotion contenders but this squad was really poor baring a few players. I'll try have a read of yours at some point as well.
 

FMSaddler96

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The Squad
So with pre-season over, the transfer business completed and games upcoming this is my chance to introduce the squad. We had a very small and poor squad when I arrived but I have made a few additions to improve on this.

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Our biggest problem will be our back 4. Fortune will be key as he provides the experience and quality to the back 4. Withey and Dempsey will be in a constant battle for the right back spot whilst Llewellyn should have no problem making the left back spot his own.

In midfield we are strong. A few additions added quality in depth with Edge and Moogan fighting for the DM spot we expect Byrne to be key in one of the CM roles. Plummer will play as either a right winger or striker with Grubb and McClennan being strong options on the right as well. Fayers should have no problem in keeping the role on the left.

Up front we are quite weak. Plummer is rated highly but that is just due to the lack of quality. With striker being his 3rd position I expect him to be key on the wings whilst Wilson and Camper both fight for the striker spots and hopefully the competition will push them to score goals.

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So there were 6 free transfers. Isaacs will fight for the number 2 CM spot dependent on injuries and form. Fayers will own the left hand side. Moogan as said before will fight for either the DM or CM spot. Hemati was brought in to be our second CB alongside Fortune.

Bishop and Parton will both be fighting for the number 2 keeper role behind Purnell after the departure of Dan Jackson. Parton will likely be number 2 as he is better quality but Billy Bishop has the potential to take over long term.
 

FMSaddler96

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August
A busy month where we would find out the teams we would be fighting for survival against in all likelihood. We had a mixed bag of fixtures and it got tougher towards the end of the month as we saw the form of who we were coming up against.

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Concord Rangers 1-0 Weston-Super-Mare

A tough start as we lose to a side expected to be in the battle with us for relegation. They got the winner in the second half and we struggled to create chances against a stubborn defensive side. Looking back at it now it isn't a bad result as Concord sit 5th.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-0 Gosport

We remain stubborn at the back as I opt for our attacking formation to try and break down the visitors. Our defence were fantastic but we lacked going forward with our wingers struggling to make an impact.


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Weston-Super-Mare 1-1 Hemel Hempstead

Another stubborn defensive performance as we score our first goal of the season. Midfielder Alex Byrne broke through and scored with a neat finish. We lost the lead late as we seem to be struggling for fitness.

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Ebbsfleet 2-0 Weston-Super-Mare

A tough result to take as we created a handful of chances but our strikers struggle to finish continues. Our defence had a poor showing whilst our wingers continue to be MIA.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-0 Eastbourne Borough

Whilst our wingers continue to be non-existent on the pitch our defence continues to stand strong. I think being protected by Purnell in goal gives them extra confidence as the keeper has been fantastic.

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Oxford City 2-2 Weston-Super-Mare

As Plummer moves up front a mix up in midfield brings the previously MIA wingers into life as they tore the full backs of the hosts apart. With the wingers stretching the field Moogan had the open passing lanes and twice sent Plummer through to score.

However fitness continues to prove a problem as we threw away a two goal lead late on with the back 4 running on empty.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-2 Bath

The promotion chasing Bath continued their fine form as they well and truly dominated the game. We had a late surge to try and pull it back with Plummer hitting the post twice and Byrne being a keeper's finger tips away from doubling his tally for the season.

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So after 7 games we sit in 20th place. Fighting against relegation certainly won't be easy but a number of teams have struggled to start strong. Our defence seems to be key as we have a number of good performances at the back but going forward we aren't scoring enough.

I am happy to be where we are just a point from safety with Eastbourne and Hemel, both teams below us, having been games where we got a point a piece.

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A less cramped month of fixtures coming up. I expect 4 points from 12 in the league games and a win at the end of the month to advance in the FA Cup Qualifiers. Bishops sit mid-table after a mixed start so a point is achievable. Dartford are one of the leagues top scorers whilst we hold one of the best defensive records but the 3rd placed side will be fancied.

Truro is a game we must win as they sit 1 point above us in the league so a win will be crucial to survival hopes. We end with 4th placed Sutton who are tied with Bath for the divisions top scorers with 17 goals so we can only hope for a draw at best by the looks of it.
 

FMSaddler96

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September
A less busy month which will determine whether we can battle against the drop or whether we are doomed. With less fixture congestion it's a chance for fitness to return to a good level as we move forward in this season.

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Bishop's Stortford 4-1 Weston-Super-Mare

A poor start to the month. After going 1-0 up within 2 minutes it looked like we would shock the play-off chasers but they fought back and we 4-1 up by the 20 minute mark. Defensively we were awful but we did well going forward.

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Dartford 1-2 Weston-Super-Mare

A change of tactic to a simple 4-4-2 where we would look play a short passing game a use the strength we have was worked on and it worked fantastically. Chris Speed was a signing I had been working on for a couple of weeks and he makes his debut in style.

After he put us 1-0 up within the opening 3 minutes he doubled his tally with an 81st minute winner after we lost the lead. He didn't get MOTM though as Fortune was a rock at the back.

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Weston-Super-Mare 1-4 Truro City

Fellow strugglers Truro pulled away from the drop as they beat us convincingly. It was our worst performance yet but once again we created chances. We need to improve defensively, especially after this defeat.

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Weston-Super-Mare 1-0 Sutton United

A team I had played as a lot on FM when I was younger and I think it somehow helped. We controlled the game and Sutton couldn't get into the tie. We struggled to create chances a lot early on but With a few changes in midfield we had more creativity and Syd Camper scored off of the bench.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-1 Grays

An awful result! We were second best for portions of the game but we had many chances to win the game. As we pressed to win the game we were caught on the break. Our chances also weren't helped by starting CB Hemati getting sent off in the second half.

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So another month has passed and we continue to defy odds. We need to improve defensively as we have the 2nd worst goal difference in the league, only better than bottom side Hemel. The league is starting to separate from who will be the better sides and this bottom 6 seems to be the main relegation battlers.

The loss at the end of the month was definitely a poor result and it angered me to lose to them, especially with expectations to advance to the final round of qualifying.

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Another short month coming up but 3 away games see a lot of travelling for us. Margate have started well and sit in 8th place so will look for the win whilst Maidenhead are currently topping the table. After that we have 2 chances to get points as we host mid-table Havant and 17th placed Whitehawk then host us.

For the month I am hoping for 4 points. I expect at least a win in one of the final two fixtures and hopefully it will come against Whitehawk as it could help in our bid for survival. I don't expect anything from the first two games but we have surprised before so I keep my hopes up.
 

FMSaddler96

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October
Another month where we expect little but hope for a lot. We have a chance to pull away from the bottom 3 and will hope to create a gap from the relegation zone.

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Margate 1-0 Weston-Super-Mare

A tough result to take as we probably deserved a point. Margate opened up strongly and took an early lead before sitting back. We couldn't break through but had 14 shots, 8 of which were saved.

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Maidenhead 2-3 Weston-Super-Mare

An absolutely fantastic result as we beat the run away table toppers 3-2. We went 2-0 down in the first half and looked poor but a half time talk where I told them to relax and a tactical tinker to play attacking changed the game. Tristan Plummer got all 3 goals and man of the match but our CM's deserve the credit as we moved the ball around quickly and fantastically.

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Weston-Super-Mare 1-0 Havant & Waterlooville

Another good result but this time fairly lucky. We were the second best team on the day as Havant countered our style perfectly but another tactical tinkering saw us break free on the counter where Byrne hit the back of the net from the edge of the box.

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Whitehawk 1-0 Weston-Super-Mare

An unfair result this time for us as we were the better team throughout. We controlled the game and had chance after chance but a MOTM performance from the hosts keeper kept us out before they hit a winner in the 79th minute.

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A good month in the table as teams around us struggle to replicate our form. The game in hand for both Wealdstone and Maidstone worries me but we can continue to pull away with our own results. The win against Havant was important whilst if we had beat Whitehawk we would be 7 points clear in 15th place.

We seemed to settle some of the defensive nerves as we drop Hemati who continues to be a liability on the pitch whether through poor mistakes or bookings. Keary came in and did well for the month but we need an improvement at CB.

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3 league games and a FA Trophy qualifier await us in November. Another short month which makes me wonder when the fixture pile up will occur. We get our first repeat game with the chance to get revenge for the opening day 1-0 defeat to 3rd place Concord.

We then visit play-off chasers Gosport before hosting St.Albans. We end the month with the cup game where I hope to advance past Lewes in another game we should win. I don't know what to expect in the upcoming 3 league games but would like to get at least 3 points to keep us from dropping into the relegation fight.
 

FMSaddler96

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Weston-Super-Mare take part in transfer dealings
November 3rd 2015

After signing left-back Tony Capaldi and Chris Speed on free transfers in August and then signing Adam Newton on loan from Woking last month the Conference South club have taken part in further transfer dealings.

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The club started this morning by announcing the release of two players. Danny Wring was expected to play a key role this season for The Seagulls but has struggled to break into the squad with manager FM Saddler believing the club already has better options both in the middle and the right wing.

Ollie Barnes has taken some part throughout the season off of the bench but has failed to impress and with Capaldi and Llewellyn ahead of him at left back it is no surprise the club, currently in financial struggles, wanted to get his wages out of the books.

Both were believed to be causing troubles in the training room with a number of reports stating that Wring has missed a couple of training sessions as well as failing to attend the Seagulls 1-0 win against Havant (manager FM Saddler expects all players to attend home games).

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However with 2 leaving the club have made an addition. 18 year old centre-back Jorna Moulton, formerly of Derby, has been added on a non-contract basis. The youngster is expected to slot straight in to the middle of an inconsistent defence alongside Fortune.

With Hemeti and Keary currently struggling to hold down the number 2 CB spot they are expected to be fighting to keep their place on the pitch and bench should Moulton impress in his debut. Moulton will have his chance to impress this Saturday against Concord Rangers.
 

FMSaddler96

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November
Another short month with some very tough games which we will need to challenge in to keep the relegation battle up. With 3 league games we end with a cup tie to try qualify for the FA Trophy.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-1 Concord Rangers

We were unlucky in this tie as we deserved the 3 points but 2 injuries early on saw us with no recognised strikers to take chances. We ended the game with 10 men due to injuries and Concord took advantage of this scoring a late winner.

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Gosport 1-0 Weston-Super-Mare

Another close 1-0 game where we are on the wrong end of the score line. We deserved at least a point but the referee gave a very questionable penalty to the hosts which was converted whilst Capaldi was sent off. It proved to be a wrong decision as Capaldi's suspension was overturned.

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Weston-Super-Mare 1-2 St.Albans

We always seem to be on the wrong end of close games recently as St.Albans get the 3 points. We pushed after going 2-0 down and won a penalty which was converted by Grubb. However in the second half injuries once again proved to be our weakness as we ended with 9 men with Plummer, Edge, Newton, Grubb and Wilson all going off injured.

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Lewes 0-1 Weston-Super-Mare

A result I expected but wasn't optimistic for with the injury pile up. All 5 players who were injured in our previous game weren't in the team for this tie so it didn't surprise me that it took a 90th minute Fortune goal to get the win. The defender was in the right place as the ball was headed to him to slot into an open goal.

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We drop into the drop zone after a poor month in the league. A point would've made things look better with Havant having played an extra game but 2 points behind with a game in hand isn't too bad.

We continue to struggle to score and whilst Speed and Plummer both link up superbly we have struggled to get both on the pitch with both having been injured this month.

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We await the FA Trophy draw as we look to start a cup run with a decent draw whilst also having 4 league games. Wealdstone is a must win as they sit just 3 points above us in the table whilst Bishop's and Hayes are both hard to judge with both teams being in poor form. Oxford City last game is a tough game against a team chasing the top of the table.

I expect 4 points from the upcoming month with a win against Wealdstone and a draw in one of the following 2 games. Dependent on the luck of the draw I would also like to get a cup run going to help out the clubs finances.
 

FMSaddler96

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December
Another slow month of fixtures coming up where we really need to pick up a few points to get the relegation battle going again.

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Wealdstone 2-1 Weston-Super-Mare

A tough game as we were the better team for 80 minutes but the hosts took the chance to hit us late on with 2 goals in the final 10 minutes to deny us of any points. Grubb continues his good form.

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Dover 4-1 Weston-Super-Mare

A tough game in the FA Trophy as we travel to conference side Dover. The hosts have been in good form recently so I expected them to dominate the game and they did. McClennan came off of the bench to score our goal in a well worked move.

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Weston-Super-Mare 1-1 Bishop's Stortford

Our only point of the month but it is one that frustrated me. After going 1-0 up we controlled the game but the visitors equalised from the spot after a stupid penalty was handed to them. The FA agreed with another mistake as they overturn a suspension for the second time this season. We lose points from poor refereeing again!

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-2 Oxford City

The most annoying result, EVER! Grubb was subbed off after just 20 minutes as he missed 2 penalties whilst on the pitch, if he scored just one spot kick we would've won the game but Oxford saw it was their day and hit us hard to win the game.

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We drop down to 21st as we have another poor month. The only hope is our game in hand which was a game postponed this month against Hayes who sit in 18th, 6 points above us. I wanted to win a game this month but we were cost twice in the final two games.

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A very busy game next month with 6 massive games. 4 of our 6 games come against sides currently in the bottom 6 so a few wins could be massive. We host Hayes to start the month before travelling to them on the following Tuesday to replay our postponed game. I expect at least one win from these two games.

We then end with 3 away games in 4 where I expect at least 4 points. We can easily beat St.Albans or Hemel but I expect our win to come at home against Maidstone.
 

FMSaddler96

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New Year Board Meeting

Director: "We've decided that you haven't been good enough. We expected you to do better than this and the last couple of months have put us in a tough position. We need better otherwise this club and your job could be in trouble!"

"I know but this last couple of months have been injury plagued, affected by poor refereeing and had tough fixtures. I am meeting your goal and I don't know what else you expect with the resources you're giving me."

Director: "You cannot push the blame onto us! We expect a better month taking what you've said into consideration but if we aren't better off come the end of the month then we are going to have to say goodbye to you Mr.Saddler."

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So a poor month has seen my job put into jeopardy. With the board on my back despite me arguably meeting expectations I am finding it hard to find any support around the place. We need to find some form in January otherwise this journey could be tough to move forward with.

They are blaming me for the finances which is annoying me a lot. They lowered the wage budget by a grand without warning in December and it sees me over budget quite a lot. I can't be to blame for that but somehow they shift the blame onto me.

 

FMSaddler96

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January
A busy new year is ahead as we have 6 fixtures lined up for the month. We need to push and get some important results as we continue to slip into trouble.

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Weston-Super-Mare 0-1 Hayes & Yeading

A poor result in a game I really wanted to win. The team just didn't perform up to standards and we were let down by poor wing play again. If we had more options in midfield and more attacking threats in the middle I would consider dropping the wingers.

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Hayes & Yeading 3-1 Weston-Super-Mare

A change of tactic produced a better performance but the hosts were high from their win over us just 3 days before. Had the first result been different then I feel we would've won this game but with low morale they took advantage as our players were cautious.

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Chelmsford 2-1 Weston-Super-Mare

Another fantastic performance with a new tactic but unfortunately our morale let us down again. I tried to motivated the team but they seem to down to get pumped for games.

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St.Albans 2-1 Weston-Super-Mare

The third 1 goal loss in the month as we struggle to take our chances. We continue to produce performances but our strikers seem scared in front of goal.

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Weston-Super-Mare 2-4 Maidstone

We took the lead twice through top scorer Tristan Plummer but twice lost it as they utilised their wingers to hit our back 3 hard. I can't win defensively as our full backs have been poor all year but our CB's struggle in the air.

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Hemel Hempstead 2-2 Weston-Super-Mare

We were 2-0 down within the opening 5 minutes but responded fantastically. We should've had the win but the referee let us down as he failed to produce the needed red card and penalty late on for a disaster of a tackle which sees Plummer missing time.

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Our fight for survival seems all but over with us sitting rock bottom and 10 points from safety. The 3 points would've helped in the final game of the month as we would have been 7 points off instead of 10.

It seems fitting that we sit rock bottom in a month when our morale hit rock bottom. All of the squad currently have "abysmal" morale which has seen us struggle to get the results. The team are playing cautious and this affecting our results. I would say we deserved 3 wins from this month but our cautious approach has seen us fail to take chances and stop teams.

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A season defining month is coming up as we have 3 home fixtures and two winnable games. Basingstoke will be tough as they are currently fighting for their play-off place and won't be wanting to slip. We then have Eastbourne who are the only team within 3 points off us which a win could be massive in any chance we have of surviving. We end the month with Wealdstone, a game we can win, and Chelmsford who are also fighting for play-off places.

I would like 6 points from the month. Hemel have a tough month of fixtures coming up so the 6 points could see us within 4 points of safety. Ideally we can get results out of the Basingstoke and Chelmsford ties too.
 

FMSaddler96

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Tactical Tinkering: Does it work?
January 31st 2016

Tactical tinkering. Something managers have done throughout history game through game or just in match. The question of whether it works has always been argued but this seasons Conference South story tells the two sides of the story can be very different.

Maidenhead, table toppers. They have used just one tactic all season and it has seen them rise to the top of the division in style. One of the top scorers in the division and one of the best defences in the country, all from a simple 4-4-2.

They very rarely mix things up and they only make changes when they are on the back foot during a game. They have gotten to where they are through consistency and knowledge of their tactics and knowing exactly how to play.

At the other end are Weston-Super-Mare. Opta has them down as the team to have used the most tactical changes throughout the season and it hasn't paid off for them. There is an obvious difference in the quality of the players at hand for both sides which we have taken into account but have the tactical tinkerings of rookie manager FM Saddler hurt their season.

10 points from safety they are expected to change again for their upcoming game and whether it wields a result is yet to be seen but FM Saddler said in an interview "I have total belief in my tactics and players. The change of tactics mix things up and make us unpredictable and more often than not it has produced the performance on the pitch even if we don't get the result".

Now he makes a point; when they change they get better performances but they don't get results. If they produced the consistency of tactics Maidenhead did would they be better off? Many think he doesn't give things enough time to settle after making a change in plans and this confuses the players.

One thing we know is tactical tinkering will always be a part of the game. What we don't know is whether the tinkerers of the managerial world are likely to be more successful but based off of this season we can say that tinkering hasn't worked and consistency is the way forward.
 
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