I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left


May 2021

5 games in the next month will determine how successful a season this has been. Kobenhavn win the league by 16 points and 4 games left, so holding onto second place looks like the objective.

A tight game against AGF is lost by the one goal just after half time and that’s now 3 lost in a row - the wrong time in the season to be having a slump.

AaB, one position below me, are up next. We go behind twice in the game as Djerlek, on as a substitute, rescues us a a point, though it still leaves us with no margin for error. Despite a commanding performance with the ball at home, we don’t defend particularly well without it, resulting in another 2-2 draw.

Goals from Rivero and Djerlek, who both scored in the previous game as well, are cancelled out against Nordsjaelland as our winless run now stretches to 5 games.

Off the pitch, the board come forward with a 2 year contract extension which is something of a no-brainer to accept at the moment.

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Rivero keeps his place against AGF, although Djerlek is replaced by Post as a result of injury. Rivero gives us the lead. Once again, we fail to hold on to the lead and find ourselves throwing away yet more points - we’ve still got something to play for, so it’s not like the team should be thinking of their holidays just yet.

The final game of the season and probably the most difficult as we travel to Kobenhavn. We put in a pretty good performance, losing by just the 1 goal and we were unlucky to have 2 disallowed, but the failure to pick up any points means that Brondby pip us to second place in the league.

3 points from the final 5 games is a horrible end to the season and I’m pretty glad the season is done as we just went into freefall at the end.

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June - July 2021

The end of season reviews come through, and with the exception of the cup performance and that dreadful result against Horsens, it’s not too bad. We were predicted to be at the top end of the table, which we were and we can look forward to European football again next season and, thankfully, avoid the hassle of the qualifying rounds.

I didn’t do particularly well with the finances however and we were over wage budget for the entire season, so I could do with trying to improve this.

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RB Kristensson tops the average score & assists list this season, Antonsson leads the goalscoring charts although all 4 made pretty good contributions in rotation. Mehmedovic was good behind the front 2 and Tuanzebe and Nicolaisen were the best of the CBs.

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Several teams are sniffing around Sanchez who has been one of, if not the, outstanding player for me this season. Unfortunately he has a minimum release fee of £1.9m and is valued at more than that, so I’m rather resigned to losing him. A replacement is needed and an out of contract Frenkie De Jong, released from Ajax looks a good bet, though the first round of contract talks don’t go well as he asks 3 times my maximum wage!

In addition to this, 18 year old DM Kristensson is promoted to the youth ranks. With Sparv, aged 34, coming to the end of his career, this appears to be the perfect transition opportunity.

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The board expectations are the same as last year and again, reasonable although having overdone it with the finances last time out, I am being reigned in! I am aiming for a much better performance in the cup this time round though.

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I try again with De Jong with more success this time and make him the club’s highest paid player in the expectation that Sanchez will move on.

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The friendlies go well with 3 straight wins and the season proper begins away to Sonderjyske.

Pena has to start as a result of injury to my regular GK, Dahlin, and I take a bit of a risk starting both Sanchez and new signing De Jong which doesn’t really pay off as they end up taking each others space in the centre of the park. Despite goals from Djerlek and Nicolaisen we lose courtesy of an injury time kick in the teeth.

The game against AGF looks as though it’s ending in a bore draw until Kristensson pops up on the corner of the box and spanks in what looks to be a winner in the 86th minute. Frustratingly we concede just 3 minutes later meaning a run of 9 games without a win stretching back to last season.

To try and instigate a change in results, I amend the mentality to Counter away to Randers. Olsson scores one in the opening 10 minutes and Djerlek adds a second shortly after. Novak scores a free-kick just after the halfhour mark and it stays this way to record a 3-0 win.

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August 2021

First game of the month and we travel to the champions Kobenhavn in probably the most difficult game of the season. We play reasonably well, but 2 crosses result in 2 goals in the first half which we can’t recover from. They continue their 100% start to the season and already look like the most likely team to win the title.

We recover to record a comfortable 2-0 victory over OB in the next game.

Having rejected 2 offers for my star RB Kristensson, PSG come back with another which, after some negotiation, I accept as the player makes it clear he wants to move and I’m not the sort of manager to stand in his way. It leaves me short of a RB and with no transfer budget so it looks like a replacement loan will be necessary.

On a personal note, the next game against Lyngby brings up 200 games in management for me.

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We rode our luck a bit but 2 Djerlek goals and one each from Antonsson and Rivero, on as a sub, secures the victory in the end. RB Clayton comes in from Swansea as a season long loan to replace Kristensson while I look for a long term replacement.

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A dominant first half against Silkeborg means we run out comfortable winners. De Jong scores his first for the club and for the second game in a row we score 4.

A tough European Cup draw sees us face French, English and Austrian opposition. The board aren’t expecting us to get beyond the draw, but I’ll be happy improving on the 7 points gained in the previous campaign.

2 quickfire goals before halftime, including one from my teenage star Post on his first start of the season, means we recover a poor first half and with a non eventful second half we record our 5th win of the season.

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September 2021

The transfer window shuts and despite a significant amount of interest in Sanchez from some much higher rated teams, no-one actually makes a bid. Sanchez has a minimum release fee of far less than his actual worth, but this doesn’t seem to have attracted anyone. A quiet transfer window.

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The Danish cup draw pits us against Jammerbugt FC from division 2 but before that I change the formation slightly to try and accommodate both Sanchez and De Jong in the same team

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It might not be the truest barometer against Esbjerg, currently sitting in 13th in the league but Sanchez is outstanding in his new roaming playmaker role and goals from Mehmedovic and Rivero lead us to a comfortable win.

A r
eally tough opener in the European Cup as we travel to Leicester and despite a pretty valiant effort, the difference in class shows through and they stroll to a depressingly comfortable victory.

A ridiculous game against Vejle and we came out of the game on the positive side of a 7 goal thriller. The win combined with Kobenhavn’s surprise slump - 2 wins in the last 6 games - means that we go, temporarily at least, top of the league.

Kobennhaven return to the top of the table as we, disappointingly, can nly manage a draw at home to Brondby and that was only courtesy of a very late goal as we threw the kitchen sink at them.

Djerlek finally makes the breakthrough after a hardfought 60 minutes against Nordsjaelland and Sanchez, excelling in his roaming playmaker role, adds a second shortly after and despite a hiccup, we hold on to record a 2-1 win. Furthermore, the yo-yo effect at the top of the league continues as Kobenhavn are beaten.

Rapid Wien up next in our first European home game of the season and Novak scores the solitary goal direct from a free kick, just after the hour to give us the win.

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October 2021

One game against Hobro then an International break with a number of my players away. Goals from Mehmedovic, Antonsson and a late goal from Post give us a comfortable victory.

We get just over £2.5m for our position in the Superliga which eases the finances considerably with a current balance of £4.4m which is healthier than it has been for some time so I take the opportunity to request improvements to both the training and youth facilities which the board agree to.

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I rest a number of players for the Sonderjyske game in preperation for the upcoming Bordeaux match which, despite not being in the game for large portions, we win by the single Nicolaisen goal.

I sacrifice a bit of flair in the middle for the European game and replace De Jong with Keita to provide another ball winning midfielder. Sanchez stays in so I hope his good form can continue. All the action happens in the opening 17 minutes with 2 goals each and although we battered them, created the better chances and making the more aggressive changes as the game wore on, we were unable to make the breakthrough.

Antonsson does the damage against AGF with 2 goals, but it’s GK Dahlin who takes the plaudits with a very fine penalty save and we leapfrog Kobenhavn back into top place.

A dominant performance from some of the squad players was not rewarded with goals, but Rivero & Anderson see us through to the next round against Jammerbugt

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November 2021

A fortunate last minute penalty from Antonsson secures a victory against Randers although we should really have scored more and made the breakthrough far earlier than we actually did but another 3 points pushes us to the top of the table again.

In off the pitch news, CB Banggaard signs a new contract as a rotation option as he’s a useful option with the number of games being played.

A key European game up next against Bordeaux who are sitting bottom of a very tight group but a MoM performance from Mehmedovic with a goal and 2 assists sees leads us to a 4-3 win.

Up next are Kobenhavn who we seem to playing leapfrog with in an effort to lead the Superliga. They’ve already beaten us once this season, but at home I’m hoping for a different outcome and despite our pretty awful head to head record, we are pitched as favourites for the game.

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Unfortunately, an Ivanovic hat-trick means that we can’t improve our already dismal record against Kobenhavn, despite another 2 goals from Antonsson who has scored 9 in his last 6.

Another international break means the players either have the time to linger on the defeat, or can take the chance to clear the result from their minds before facing OB in the next league game, although it seems to be the former, as that ends in a scoreless stalemate.

Leicester come to town for the next European game and we were simply sensational, playing Leicester off the park. Djerlek’s 2 goals owed a lot to Antonsson who should have been awarded man of the match. That win takes us top of the group and means we qualify for the knockout with a game in hand.

The stats for the game against Lyngby pretty much reflect the impotence we showed in the game and we didn’t deserve anything out of it.

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All of a sudden from leading the Superliga, we now find ourselves 6 points behind Kobenhavn.

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December 2021 - February 2022

Four games before the winter break, starting with Silkeborg currently sitting in fourth position. Mehmedovic bags a hat-trick and the win, in conjunction with Kobenhavns failure to win, pulls us back to within 3 points of the league leaders again.

I make a couple of changes for the next game, Post is replaced by Djerlek, Clayton misses out through suspension, to be replaced by Holm and it’s Djerlek who leads the team to three points with two goals and a MoM performance.

In transfer related news, I start looking for a full-time RB and there are a couple of players who are on the fringes of the first team squad attracting some interest who could go so I start to offer them around. I also manage to finally tie down Sanchez to a, comparatively, huge contract although without the minimum release fee I am happy knowing I’m not going to lose him for much less than his value.

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Safe in the knowledge that we’ve already progressed to the knockout stages I play a slightly weakened team and despite edging the final European group game against Rapid Wien, we succumb to a 92nd minute wonderstrike which results in a 3-2 loss.

The final game of the year against Esbjerg and an Olsson penalty followed by a Rivero strike give us a more comfortable victory than the scoreline suggests meaning we go into the Christmas break on a high….until I see the Euro cup knockout draw…

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But enough of that and there’s some player housekeeping to be done and contracts to be sorted:

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Of the players whose contracts are expiring, the only one I offer a contract to is 23 year old Clausen, currently on loan, who can directly replace the 32 year old Hansen in the first team at the end of the season. His ability has declined rapidly in the last 2 seasons. I am happy to let Mathew go as I have a Christensson; a Danish 22yr old midfielder also out on loan who looks just about ready to step into the first team at the end of his loan period (and is £7,000pw cheaper) I m prepared to let him go.

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The search is also on for a high quality AMC to replace Anderson (2.5*), preferably one who is at least as good, is reasonably young and has high potential and it looks like there is plenty of choice though Hansson is best I can afford.

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Gregus, one of the players on the fringes, leaves for a fee of £475k and a few players go out on loan, but there is no other notable transfer activity. I’m still on the look out for a first team RB & GK.

Back on the pitch, 2 wins out of 3 friendly results sets us up nicely for the first leg of the European Cup against Gelsinkerchen although we are completely outclassed and lose 3-1 with Djerlek providing a glimmer of hope.

I make 10 changes for the league game between the European games to give us the best chance of at least competing in the second leg against Gelsenkirchen although we concede early on against Velje and spend the rest of the game chasing. Despite getting increasingly desperate we only score once and are held to a 1-1 draw.

We play really well against Gelsinkerchen but are sunk by an unfortunate Nicolaisen own goal and a wonder strike which is disappointing since we had the better of the chances and possession but go out 2-1 and 5-2 on aggregate. At least we get a decent bit of cash out of it though.

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March 2022

Antonsson provides the only bright point as he scores the only goal from the penalty spot in the 1-1 result against Brondby which takes his total to 11 league goals for the season and only needs 2 more to beat his total for last season.

I bring in Danish International Holst to join at the end of the season, primarily to play rightback although he’s versatile enough to play in a number of positions so should be a useful acquisition.

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It took until the 85th minute against Nordsjaelland for something to happen but Antonsson, Hansen and Mehmedovic provide the goals in a very late showing to give us a 3-1 victory.

Taking the cup more seriously this time round is paying off slightly as we put 5 past AaB in the fourth round. Our defence isn’t quite what I had hoped for, but a Djerlek hat-trick, one from Rivero and another from Novak does the damage for us.

Djerlek creates a new record for the most player of the matches of the season as a result of this performance.
As a reward, for his performances this season, I provide Djerlek with a new contract and hefty pay-rise.

Antonsson scores all 5 in a ridiculous game against Hobro and in doing so creates a new league goalscoring record for the club, although it’s the defensive part of the team that evidently needs a bit of extra coaching as we end up with a 5-3 result for the second consecutive game.

That was the final game of the regular season and we move into the Championship group stage sitting in 2nd place, 5 points behind the leaders; Kobenhavn.

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April 2022

My 35 year old goalkeeper Dahlin, probably has had his best years so it’s about time I start looking for a new first choice keeper. Pena has been a good back up but is not yet ready to be the first name on the team sheet.

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A number of interesting options with contracts expiring crop up but French keeper Nardi, currently sitting in the Monaco reserves is the first choice option and he duly signs on a free transfer.

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De Jong, Olsson and Novak all have their contracts extended courtesy of the optional extension clause I had the foresight to add to it.

Djerlek is outstanding against AAB with a goal and assist and the 2-1 win, along with Kobenhavn dropping points means the gap to them in first is narrowed to 3 points. I have my doubts that we’ll beat them to the title, but we are definitely going to reduce the 20 point difference from last season.

The number of games is taking its toll on the players and again I have to make 10 changes for the cup game against Sonderjyske although it’s the one player I don’t change, Djerlek who scores twice to put us through to the semi finals. His 21 goals so far this season have been the foundation for good cup and European campaigns.

Djerlek finally gets his rest against Brondby, with Rivero taking his place, although it’s Tuanzebe who grabs the headlines with a outstanding header from a corner. Annoyingly we can’t hold on to the lead and we concede an injury time equaliser as a result of sloppy defending from a corner. 1-1. On the plus side, that’s 9 games without losing and we seem to be putting together a pretty good run at the right time, unlike last season although it’s a crunch top-of-the-table game away to Kobenhavn next.

Carling don’t score goals, but if they did, they’d score goals like Sanchez - he doesn’t get many but the ones he does get tend to be sensational and this is no exception, dribbling from the edge of our box, plays a one-two with Mehmedovic and drills one in to the top corner from 25 yards. Antonsson and Djerlek score the others that give us the 3-2 win away to Kobenhavn and takes us to the top of the league.

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Clearly, I spoke too soon about putting a run together as we are promptly beaten, at home, by Nordsjaelland and the less said about that result, the better. The loss means we miss out on the chance to put some points between us and Kobenhavn.

Despite our best efforts to give the 3points to AaB, handing them 2 own goals, it takes a MoM performance from 17 year old Post with 2 goals and an assist to recover the situation. Antonsson and Mehmedovic score the others. Post’s good performance was noted by his agent who comes to me the following day with a request for a new contract and I agree to quadruple his wages. He’s already made 50 first team appearances and scored 18 goals at the age of 17. He’s going to be a top player so tying him down to another 6 years is something of a no-brainer, even if I won’t be around that long.

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Cup semi final up next away to Silkeborg just 2 days later so, again, some changes are required although it doesn’t disrupt the flow too much as we head into halftime 6-1 up through Rivero (3), Djerlek (2) and Anderson. It’s a good job we do the hard work in the first half, because we’re rubbish in the second and concede 2 meaning a final score of 6-3. Regardless, we’re through to the final to face the old enemies Randers.

Kobenhavn go top of the table, though we have a game in hand and its going to be a very interesting run in.

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May 2022

As solitary Djerlek goals sees us successfully past a potential banana skin result away to Randers and the win takes us 3 points clear at the top with 4 games left, 3 of which are at home and one is against Kobenhavn in second place. For the first time this season, not only do we look like we might win the league, but now finding ourselves in this position, I will be disappointed if we don’t.

Some good individual performances have not amiss as 6 of my players are nominated in the Danish Superliga spring player of the year awards:

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Antonsson currently leads the Superliga goalscoring charts, but we’ll see if that’s the case by the end of the season.

2 player changes are made for the next game against Brondby, and it turns out my arrogance may have got the better of me as we struggle with their 4-2-3-1 formation and particularly their wingers who we can’t contain. 2 assists from wide positions consign us to a disappointing defeat. Kobenhavn up next and this is a must win game due to their better goal difference.

We made it hard work for ourselves, but Antonsson gives us the lead midway through the first half and a defensive masterclass from Nicolaisen and co means that we keep a clean sheet and return to the top.

Sparv issues the rallying cry ahead of the penultimate game against Randers, although I think he’s got his maths wrong. In any case, let’s hope the rest of the team listen to him.

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Antonsson gives us the lead in a first half we absolutely dominate. Randers come back into the game in the second half, but just as it looks like they’re getting a foot in the game, Rivero pops up with a classy goal to put the game beyond doubt. This win, combined with Kobenhavn only managing a draw, means that WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.

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In addition, Antonsson breaks the club record for most league goals and assists in a season.

The Danish cup final up next and it’s Randers again for the 5th time this season. Djerlek gives us an early lead after 10 minutes and we dominate the first half. We continue to dominate the second half and despite not being able to convert that into goals, Djerlek’s goal is enough to win the cup for us and bring home the double. Randers must be sick of the sight of me!

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The final game of the season, something of a dead rubber and the opportunity to give some fringe players a full 90 minutes which doesn’t pay off as we are beaten by Nordsjaelland with Olsson supplying our only goal. Not the ideal way to end the season, but given the league and cup wins I’m not in a position to complain.

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June-July 2022

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The board cancel both the planned training and youth expansions due to a lack of funds. Now we’re playing Champions League football and with the extra cash that brings, I’ll be asking again in due course.

Antonsson gets his rewards for a successful season with both the Spring player of the year and the top goalscorer award and 3 of my back 4 (Novak, Tuanzebe & Nicolaisen) are named in the Superliga team of the year.

Keita, Ibsen and Pena’s contracts all get extended and some promising looking youth prospects come into the B side including Damgaard & Hanssen.

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The league and cup wins increase Mitdtjylland’s reputation, but we’re still some way behind Kobenhavn in terms of value

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Three players come in on a free transfer to bolster the squad with 5 players leaving and no other business is planned unless something too good to turn down comes up.

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Board expectations are much the same as last year, although we have now swapped the European Cup for the Champions League and the finances doesn’t give me much room for flexibility at the moment.

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And then, all of a sudden I’m approached by Belarussian team Neman Grodno to take over on a one year contract, apparantly to save them from relegation which I accept.

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I’ve built a very good team here and had some success but it’s time to move on and take up my fourth managerial post.

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Excellent read, really enjoying where your career is heading. Bit surprised you didn't have a shot at Champions League football. Quite an awesome team you leave behind at Midtjylland.
Excellent read, really enjoying where your career is heading. Bit surprised you didn't have a shot at Champions League football. Quite an awesome team you leave behind at Midtjylland.

Glad you're enjoying it!! It was a difficult decision as I could have stayed here for years and it was a tough call between progressing the story and building something a bit more at Midt. In hindsight, what I probably should have done was held out for a better job in the next leagues as the next job is looking to be something of an uphill struggle!
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July 2022

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So here we are in Belarus, and a chance to look at the squad.

It actually looks pretty balanced, even if there is a lack of quality of in some key areas, but there is definitely enough in the squad to avoid relegation and move up the table if I can get the tactics right. Wide positions look particularly strong and I have an aggressive target man with good finishing and heading stats so it would be daft not to make the most of this.

The team were predicted to finish fourth but are currently languishing in 13th although on the plus side, morale is reasonable. Goalscoring clearly is an issue, 14 in 17 games does not bode well and the top league scorer only has 4. The bottom 2 teams are relegated, the team in 14th goes into a playoff so we need to steer clear of that at all costs.

The first game is at home and to the team just one position above us. To try and take advantage of the relative quality of the wide players and Kijun’s TM attributes, the players fit into a sort of 5-2-3 formation. The emphasis is on not taking risks, playing wide and providing lots of crosses - I don’t think it will be pretty, but it makes the most of the players we have.

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The first half against Slavia Mozyr is a borefest. I make tactical changes at half time to avoid my CMs killing themselves running all over the pitch and to push the defence up to no avail as we labour to a 0-0 draw.

Some tactical and player changes are needed for the next game away to 9th place Zheldor. Gerasimits in the AMR position is changed to attack and my CB’s are instructed to pass short to prevent them needlessly giving the ball away. I also change Bukatkins role in the middle from BBM to BWM support. We lose 3-2 and there are some positive signs but it is proving tougher than anticipated to get the team playing in a coherent way.

It takes 3 games and against opposition 2 leagues lower, but we finally show what we can do with a Savitsky hat-trick and at last, some resemblance of the way I want the team to play. Let’s hope we can carry this into the proper games where it matters.

The TM role isn’t working particularly well as he’s isolated and doesn’t move a great deal so I change to P to try and sit on the defenders shoulders for the through balls and reduce the team’s width to try and get the wider players closer to him. In addition my initial enthusiasm for plenty of crosses is somewhat dulled by the fact I don’t have any wingbacks who can actually regularly cross with any consistency or accuracy so the formation is moved to a more familiar 4-1-2-2-1.

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We score with our only shot on target from Bukatkin but get pegged back as a result of sloppy defending from a corner. All things considered, a draw against a team in the top 4 isn’t a bad result but we need to pick up some points soon.

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August 2022

It’s proving difficult to work out the foreign player rule for Belarus - the match rules are that no more than 5 can be named in the match squad, but despite this AMR Goncharuk and CM Kotovich come in come in for £30k and £975 respectively to add some depth to the squad.

Two promising youngsters; AML Tolkachev and CM Savostjanov are brought in from the reserves to add some balance as well.
Savitsky is clearly the most sought after player and I’ve been rejecting bids for him all over the place.I’ve now got, more or less, two players for each position so it’s now a case of upgrading the squad starting with the weakest players where possible.

Both new signings are put in the team straight away against Naftan, currently two league positions above us. An outstanding defensive hour then a change of formation and a controlling final third results in a league win at the fourth time of asking though we are helped with a penalty and Savitsky as the usual suspect.

I start the following home game against Torpedo Zhodino with the same 4-1-2-1-2 formation I finished the game against Naftan. Again, Savitsky is outstanding finding pockets of space and making the difference with a goal and an assist in an unexpectedly dominant win. I’m still having fend off bids for Savitsky - if we’re going to stay up, he is most definitely going to be key to it.

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His contract is up in December 2023 and he refuses to sign another, but whilst he’s still here he will play a leading part...

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…or so I thought.

Finally, a game to take my mind off the off-field events and we travel to Slomin in the cup with a revised front line. Only a last minute Covic goal as a result of a tactic change to 4-3-3 and throwing the kitchen sink at Slomin pushes us into extra time and then a penalty shoot out….which we lose.

Savitsky signs for Mladost which is a real problem. Not only have we lost the team’s best player by some distance, he was versatile and between the closing of the transfer window, Belarus’s foreign player rule and a serious lack of quality available, he is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.

A number of players have their contracts extended or renewed to hopefully avoid further loss at the end of the season.

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The board meddling again. Selling the best player(s) but still expecting you to meet objectives.

September 2022

The loss of Savitsky, who was my only real player with any quality on the ball, rather forces me into having change things, which I do, moving to a more direct, uncomplicated 4-3-3 as these players really don’t have it in them to be clever. I have enough midfielders to play 3 in the middle with some degree of rotation, but not enough strikers so this will need to be resolved, and through the free transfer route if I plan to play this formation regularly.

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We survive an onslaught but the draw, whilst the points are very tight from 6th to 14th, bumps us up to 10th. Kljun scores the solitary goal in a game which we were more or less the measure of Vitebsk.

To make up the numbers, I promote my only left footed striker in the squad, 17 year old Zabelin, to the first team and he makes his debut in the left hand position of the front 3 against Krumkachy. He is joined by first team regulars Kljun and Kouyate up front. The fullbacks are changed to wingbacks to compensate for the lack of width in the middle and to try and press the home advantage which pays dividends as both assists come from the wingbacks to secure a nervy 2-0 win.

I bring in Ben Davies to improve the team at left back and to, finally, have a left footed player in that position. It brings my total of foreigners in the squad to 5, which is the limit, and it means that signing Belarussian players will have to be a priority if possible.

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Davies makes his debut and provides an assist for Kljun against Dnepr Mogilev but it’s not enough to prevent us from losing courtesy of 2 pretty poor defensive errors.

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October 2022

A bit of a break at the beginning of the month due to the international games gives me the chance to consider where the squad can be improved in the January transfer window and some serious scouting is undertaken.

A new goalkeeper is signed and an improvement on my current first team option.

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Serbian striker Covic tells me he’d like to go home to retire, which I allow and he signs on a free to leave in January.

Two strikers are required to come in and, having been successful at Midtjylland by scouting unattached players in the national teams, I do this again, hoping to pick up a bargain but most importantly a player who can come in and make an immediate impact.
Otherwise, I have a pretty substantial transfer budget so can spend the money if needed.

Armenian striker Yagan impresses and he is signed.

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Probably the toughest game of the season, away to Dinamo Minsk, currently in 2nd position, and it only takes 5 minutes for the game to be over. Things get worse when Gorbachik is sent off just before half time and already at 5-0 down. An already atrocious game gets worse when Kljun has to go off injured having already made all 3 substitutions. A final result of 6-0 doesn’t even really flatter them and seriously dents the goal difference.

Whilst the heavy defeat was damaging, the longer term effect on the morale may be more of a concern and that single result reduces my job stability from stable to very insecure!

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Let’s hope a change of fortunes is on the way as we travel to Gomel, sitting in the relegation zone although Ben Davies seems to press the self destruct button giving away a penalty after just 15 seconds. Another defensive error from Kosmyin who ball watches to allow a free one-on-one to the keeper which is comfortably converted. Somehow Shalaev concedes another penalty from a corner just before the hour mark and again, it’s put it away. To compound matters. Karpovich is sent off at the end of the game.Another very heavy defeat which won’t improve the board’s mood and the media speculation surrounding my position grows:

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The problems ahead of the game against Dinamo Brest are clear: Top scorer Kljun is injured and the starting 11 only has 5 league goals between them. In addition I have 3 first team players suspended and, following the 10 goals conceded in the last 2 games, morale is abysmal throughout the team…an uphill battle…

...and typically, w
hen your lucks out, it’s out, as we go behind to a 5th minute own goal. However, goals from Kouyate and then a last minute winner from 18 year old Zabelin as he heads in a Davies cross seals the comeback to give a hint of optimism at the end of the month.

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November 2022

Only 2 games of the regular season left, although the first is a tough one against the already declared champions, BATE. Yagan scores his first for the club and we’re reduced to 10 men (again). Despite this, we put in a spirited performance but lose 3-2, albeit with a much improved performance. Sammy Ameobi scores BATE’s winner in the 92nd minute.

The final game against 16th placed Gorodoyin and the media have labelled it the ‘El sackico’ which is charming although it rather proves somewhat accurate as despite drawing, and keeping the team in the league, I am relieved of my position in any case.

That was a pretty horrendous spell in Belarus and the stats do not make for pretty reading - it is definitely time for a sabbatical for a few months to get over this disappointment.

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Ah, sorry to read about your tenure in Belarusian football. I like what they've put about your managerial history in the media report. I've never won anything in any lower league football, so nice that they recognised what you've achieved in Midjtylland.