It's all a load of balls.... The Rise Through Europe

BallyC7

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Mass Clearout




Ball Has Clearout At Sampdoria

No less than 8 players have left the club over the Summer on permanent transfers. It was important to clear out some of the dead wood and raise some funds to bring in a better standard of player for the upcoming season...


Striker Olger Merkaj has left the club to join Crotone for a fee of £913k. Merkaj was sent out on loan to Crotone last season following my arrival at the club. He only made 4 appearances for them in which he did score 2 goals.

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Gaetano Monachello has left the club after only one season. He has joined Palermo for a fee of £3.97 million. Monachello was in and around the first team for us last season and was given plenty of chances to impress. However, with an average rating of 6.68 from his 13 appearances, I didn't feel he'd proved himself good enough to remain at the club.

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Andres Ponce has left the club, joining Atalanta for a fee of £2.39 million. Ponce spent the back end of last season on loan with Atalanta, scoring 2 goals in 9 appearances.

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Ibourahima Balde has joined Empoli for a fee of £700k. Balde spent last season on loan at Las Palmas and was pretty poor to be honest, and on his return to the club, I saw no place for him in my team.

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Daniel Guida has left the club and joined Serie A side Udinese for a fee of £1.5 million. Guida has spent 3 years at Sampdoria, without making a single appearance for the club.

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Striker Federico Bonazzoli has left the club to join Empoli. They have paid us a fee of £2.3 million to secure his services. Bonazzoli spent last season on loan at Croatian First League side Rijeka where he scored 8 goals in 20 appearances.

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27 year old midfielder Jakub Hromada has left the club to join Carpi for a fee of £300k. Hromada spent last season out on loan at Chievo, scoring 1 goal in his 13 appearances in Serie A.

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Central midfielder Michele Rocca has left the club and joined Serie A side Novara. Rocca spent the whole of last season on loan in Serie B with Frosinone, where he made a total of 21 appearances, racking up an average rating of 7.16. Novara have paid a fee of £575k to secure the midfielder's services.

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BallyC7

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New Arrivals




New Arrivals At Sampdoria

Over the Summer, I've worked tirelessly to add the right players to my squad for the upcoming season. It's been a tough slog but I think we have identified some great targets and made some brilliant additions to the team...


24 year old Argentinian striker Maximiliano Romero has joined the club on a free transfer. Romero was released at the end of last season by Sporting Lisbon, where he has spent the past 6 seasons. Romero spent last season on loan at Galatasaray where he had a decent record scoring 13 goals in 25 appearances. I quickly snapped up Romero who will bolster our attack, offering decent competition for Denis Alibec.

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Stephan El Shaarawy is a player I've always admired, so I am delighted to welcome him to the club. Even better, he didn't cost us a penny as we snapped him up on a free transfer following his release by Roma, where he has spent the past 8 seasons. During that time, El Shaarawy made a total of 177 appearances, scoring 42 goals. Very pleased to add the talented inside forward to our ranks.

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Another inside forward signed for the club in skillful Brazilian, Bernard. I paid £2 million to secure his signature from Roma and although he is 30 years of age, I still think he has a lot to offer. Prior to joining Roma 2 years ago, Bernard had spent 5 years for Tottenham who'd paid a whopping £42.5 million for him from Shakhtar back in 2016.

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I was desperate to sign a decent centre back this Summer and I am glad to announce the arrival of Croatian Tin Jedvaj who joins us from Serie A rivals Napoli. Jedvaj had joined Napoli for £5.75 million from Bayer Leverkusen 3 years ago but had found his opportunities in the first time few and far between with only 2 appearances made. I've given the determined 27 year old an opportunity to get back to playing regular football at the top level, and he cost me only £2.6 million up front. We will pay Napoli another £1.4 million once Jedvaj has completed 40 league appearances for us.

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Kyle Walker may be getting on a bit at 33 years old, but can still do an important job for us this season in the right back role that is so important to the way we play. Joining on a free transfer also limits our risk with him.

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Two youngsters have joined this summer, both central midfielders that I see having a big future in the game. Already they look to have very good mental skills and if we nurture them in the right way, they could become key players for us in the future. Please welcome 16 year old Alessio Pastore who joins us for £300k from Entella, and Sandro Serra who joins us from Pro Vercelli for a fee of £400k.

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We've managed to secure a season long loan signing of Manchester City wonderkid Milan Martinek. The 20 year old Czech Republic star has already made 3 international appearances for his country and is being tipped to go to the very top. Hopefully we can aid him in this quest with a decent amount of first team football this season and from the advanced playmaker role in our team, I'm interested to see how many assists the youngster can rack up this season.

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kolas79

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Great transfers there my friend. Manage to combine quality with extremely low cost. The definition for value for money. Looking very good for the new season !
 

BallyC7

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July 2023 Review




July 2023 Review

Pre Season Friendlies


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Board Set Season Expectations

The board have set their expectations for the upcoming season....

Serie A - Achieve a top half finish
Italian Cup - Reach the quarter final



Both targets are within reach for us this year I think and the board have been pretty lenient and are not expecting too much from me in my first full season in charge.


The media have predicted us an 8th place finish in Serie A.



Chris Ball Adds To His Backroom Staff

Luca Nember has joined the club as the new Director of Football. Nember joins us from Chievo.

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Serie A legend Goran Pandev has joined the club's backroom staff as a coach. Pandev was brought in to focus on the technical aspect in training, and brings with him a career's worth of knowledge in Serie A, having played for Lazio, Napoli, Inter Milan and Genoa.

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Coach Luca Pavoni has joined the club's backroom team from Perugia where he was acting as Caretaker Manager. Pavoni was brought in for his all round training ability and will contribute primarily to both attacking and defending training. A compensation fee of £160k was agreed with Perugia to secure his services.

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BallyC7

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Great transfers there my friend. Manage to combine quality with extremely low cost. The definition for value for money. Looking very good for the new season !

Yea I have to admit I am very pleased and it definitely proves that if you search the market hard and long enough, there's definitely some bargains to be had. Especially excited about El Shaarawy myself....think he could be big for us this season.
 

BallyC7

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What an awesome story, hope it continues..... I want to play the swedish league now.
Cheers mate, I appreciate the comments. Although this is my first ever journeyman game, I'd definitely recommend it as you can seek out some hidden gem leagues like the Swedish one....I really enjoyed managing in that country and was glad to leave there having won the Premier League and the Swedish Cup 3 times.
 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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Pre Season Update




Pre Season Roundup

Results

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Juventus Favourites For Title

Juventus have been made the bookie's favourite to win the Serie A title this coming season, at odds of 7-2. They are however, closely followed by Roma at 4-1 and reigning champions Inter Milan at 9-2.

Sampdoria have been priced at 36-1 to lift the Serie A trophy, and the bookies have offered 25-1 on us to be relegated.


Alibec Expected To Be In Running For Golden Boot

Sampdoria striker Denis Alibec is amongst the favourites to lift the Serie A golden boot this coming season. Alibec has been priced by the bookmakers at 13-2 to finish as top goalscorer. Alibec was our top goalscorer last season with 17 league goals.


The favourite is Torino striker, Davide Capece who bagged himself 21 goals in 34 appearances last year. AC Milan striker Kelechi Iheanacho is also amongst the leading contenders to finish on top of the goalscoring ranks.


Serie A Top Player Predictions

No Sampdoria players have been tipped to win the Serie A top player during the forthcoming campaign. The favourites for the award include Juventus defensive midfielder Marco Grassi, Inter Milan centre midfielder Assane Gnoukouri and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.


Linetty To Keep Captain's Armband

Karol Linetty will keep the captain's armband for the upcoming season.
Vice captaincy has been handed to goalkeeper Titas Krapikas.


Season Tickets

The ticket office have confirmed that we have sold a total of 16,974 season tickets for the new season. This is about 200 more than last season.


Financial Update

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I feel I've done a good job with the budget this year and have certainly made the bank balance look a lot better going into the new season with a cool £7 million sitting in the account. We're still over slightly on the wage budget but I'm in the process of still trying to offload a couple of reserve players to bring that down in the near future.


Injury Update

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No injuries going into the new season :)


Italian Cup Draw

Sampdoria have been drawn against Serie B side Latina in the third qualifying round of the Italian Cup. As the higher seeded side, Sampdoria have been awarded home advantage for the tie and will be seen as heavy favourites to win the game. The tie will take place on 21st August.


 

BallyC7

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August 2023 Review




August 2023 Review

Results

Italian Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
Sampdoria 3 - 0 Latina

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Our first competitive game of the year would see us take on Serie B side Latina in the third qualifying round of the Italian Cup. I picked a relatively strong side as I didn't want to kick off the season with a shock defeat and the lads were told what was expected of them in the pre match team talk. It didn't take long to get our heads in front or for new signing El Shaarawy to make his mark, scoring an easy tap in on 18 minutes following a Nouri cross from the right wing. 3 minutes later and we were 2 up, through striker Denis Alibec. Just on the stroke of half time, El Sharaawy banged in his 2nd of the game to make it 3-0, this time getting on the end of a cross from the left side of the pitch. With the game comfortably won, 17 year old Sandro Serra was introduced in central midfield to make his debut with 20 minutes of the match left, and the youngster looked decent as he passed the ball around the pitch well. The game finished at 3-0 and it's good to start off the year with a decent victory.


Serie A
Novara 1 - 1 Sampdoria

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We kicked off the Serie A campaign with an away trip to Novara. I was pleased to be playing a team that struggled against relegation last year and thought we had an ideal opportunity to start the season with a win. But things didn't go to plan early on when Kyle Walker pulled down Novara striker Cephas Malele inside the box and Gogia stepped up to score the resulting penalty to give our opponents a lead inside the first 15 minutes. We wasn't behind for long though, when 5 minutes later, Denis Baumgartner scored with a low strike from just outside the box to level things up. Despite our dominance for the remainder of the game, there were unfortunately no more goals and the game ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw.


League Table

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Financial Update

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Injury Update

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Another Player Leaves Sampdoria

21 year old central midfielder, Gennaro Cappiello, has left the club to join Serie B side Verona. Cappiello has come through the Sampdoria youth system but I didn't feel he had progressed enough to force his way into the senior side and therefore decided to move him on. Verona have paid a fee of £1.7 million to bring the player to the club.

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Italian Cup Draw

Following the 3-0 victory over Latina, we were entered in the hat for the Italian Cup 4th Qualifying Round. We have been drawn against Serie C/A side Alessandria, a game that will be played in December. Alessandria had already been through 3 qualifying rounds, with striker Michele Marconi scoring 4 goals in those 3 matches, so we'd potentially have to be aware of his goal threat.

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BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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September 2023 Review




September 2023 Review

Results

Serie A
Sampdoria 3-2 Udinese

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We kicked off September with a home game against Udinese. And as in the previous game against Novara, we started poorly, finding ourselves 1-0 down in the opening 6 minutes! Again, we wasn't behind for long though as Denis Alibec pulled us level from the penalty spot. Two more goals from either team followed in the opening 20 minutes and it had been a frantic start to the game. Both teams went on to have chances in a pretty even game but it was us who came out on top, with El Shaarawy scoring the only other goal of the game to give us the 3 points on the day.


Serie A
Bologna 1 - 5 Sampdoria

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Bologna had started the season like us, with a draw and a win. It was us that made the quick start this time, taking an early lead inside 8 minutes, Karol Linetty slotting past the onrushing goalie after being put through on goal by a pinpoint Denis Alibec pass. Alibec then made it 2-0 on 13 minutes, following up and scoring the rebound from a Baumgartner shot which cannoned back off the goalkeeper. When Dominique Heintz defelected a cross into his own net in the 37th minute, we found ourselves cruising at 3-0. Two more goals from Alibec followed in the 2nd half as he completed his hat trick and increase our lead to 5-0. Bologna got themselves a late consolation but this was a very good away win!


Serie A
Sampdoria 3 - 1 Napoli

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Our toughest test of the season so far would see Napoli visit the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. It seems that every game we play this season, there's an early goal within 15 minutes and this was no different as young midfielder Milan Martinek scored his first of the season to give us a 1-0 lead. Karol Linetty then doubled our lead on 34 minutes and I was hoping we could hold onto this until half time. However, it wasn't to be as Napoli then started to turn up the pressure and come into the game a bit more, and were able to get one back just before half time through Jorginho. Tin Jedvaj was not having a good time of it against his former employers so I took the decision to sub the centre back midway through the 2nd half to try ensure we held onto our lead to the end of the game. We did wrap up the 3 points with 10 minutes to go, with substitute Abdelhak Nouri slotting home his first goal of the season to put us 3-1 up.


Serie A
Carpi 1 - 0 Sampdoria

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We ended September with an away trip to recently promoted Carpi. Although we were dominant throughout the first half, we couldn't take any of our chances and went into the break at 0-0. With our opponents playing a pretty narrow formation, I told the team to concentrate more down the flanks in the second half and went slightly more attacking in order to push forward and get in front. But it was Carpi who punished us for not taking our chances, when they took the lead midway through the 2nd half with only their 3rd shot of the game. After going down, we were relentless in our attempts to get level and it looked like we would when we were awarded a penalty with 9 minutes remaining, only for El Shaarawy to step up and fire wide. 'Maybe this just wasn't going to be our' day I thought. I was right as we just couldn't find the back of the net and suffered our first defeat of the season.


League Table

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A decent month sees us sitting 6th in the table.


Financial Update

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Big losses of £2.2 million this month have put a bit of a dent in the bank balance.


Injury Update

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No major injuries to worry about.


100 Up For Toloi

Centre back Rafael Toloi made his 100th league appearance for the club in the game against Udinese.
 

BallyC7

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October 2023 Review




October 2023 Review

Results

Serie A
Sampdoria 1 - 0 Lazio

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October started with a home game against Lazio and we should have had the lead early after being awarded a soft penalty by the referee, who deemed the Lazio centre back had jumped unfairly with our player when a corner was floated in. However, El Shaarawy stepped up and missed his 2nd penalty in as many games....I think a change of pen taker is required after this game. The first half went on to be a very close affair with both teams creating 7 chances each, even though we did slightly shade the posession stats. The second half remained close, but El Shaarawy and Nouri were both struggling in attack so both inside forwards were taken off, replaced with Bernard and Denis Baumgartner. Sure enough Baumgartner found the back of the net on 74 minutes and the substitute's goal turned out to be the winner in what was an entertaining game between two sides both in the top 6.

Serie A
Roma 1 - 0 Sampdoria

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We knew this was going to be an extremely tough game against the league leaders Roma, who'd made a perfect start to the season with 6 wins from 6 games. We set up more counter attacking than our usual controlled style of play, knowing that we were likely to soak up a lot of pressure. During the first half, we did exactly that and Roma created a number of chances, as we struggled to create anything of our own. I changed the mentality to more standard for the 2nd half as the counter attack wasn't working for us. With us pushed a little higher up, Roma did find the breakthrough quite early in the 2nd half and took the lead through Gustavo Scarpa. It turned out to be the only goal of the game and we went down 1-0 to Roma who made is 7 wins in 7.

Serie A
Sampdoria 0 - 1 Juventus


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Following the international break, we had a very tough home match against pre season title favourites Juventus. Juve were sitting one place above us in 5th, with 4 wins, 2 draws and a loss to their name. Their only defeat had been a 4-1 thrashing by Napoli and the fact we had beaten Napoli already offered some hope we could get a result here. The stats from the game suggested that Juventus were probably the slightly better side and that's fair to say. We wasn't overrun in this game and held our own for large parts, but Juve just looked more threatening when they attacked. It looked like we were going to walk away from the game with a good point, until Marco Grassi ran through the centre of midfield, hit a low shot from 20 yards that slotted into the bottom corner and the away team nicked all 3 points at the death.

Serie A
Torino 0 - 0 Sampdoria


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Torino had made a flying start to the campaign scoring 17 goals in their opening 8 games of which they had won 6, and found themselves sitting in a comfortable 3rd place in the table. Coming into this one on the back of two losses to Roma and Juventus, we knew we were in for another hard day at the office. The first half was incredibly boring with Torino creating 1 chance, which was the only shot in the whole half. Both teams seemed to be completely cancelling one another out. The second half didn't get much better with both teams only creating a couple of chances each, none of which you'd class as good chances. A very drab match, possibly the most uneventful I've seen in my managerial career to date.


League Table

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To be honest, I'm pleased to still be in the top 6 at the end of the month. We had a tough month, playing 3 of the top 4 in the league and only picking up 1 victory in our last 4 games.


Player of the Month



Rafael Toloi
CB

Appearances: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Interceptions: 54
Average Rating: 7.18


Toloi's reading of the game has been excellent, proven by the amount of interceptions he has made against the better sides in the division this month.


Financial Update

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Injury Update

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BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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November 2023 Review




November 2023 Review

Results

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 1 Fiorentina

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Fiorentina had a disappointing campaign last season, but they'd started this year very well and were sitting in 5th position as we went into this game. They'd only suffered 1 defeat and hadn't lost in their last 5. We were decent in the first half, restricting Fiorentina to only 1 shot on goal as we created 6 chances of our own. We hadn't scored but we'd certainly come close with a couple of long range efforts and I hoped if we continued in this vein into the second half, we could definitely win this game. We did start the 2nd half brightly and it only took 5 minutes to get the first goal of the game, a rare strike from defensive midfielder Salvatore Del Giudice. But Fiorentina struck back on 62 minutes, after some suspect defending saw Hernan Toledo pretty much walk through the middle of our two centre backs before passing the ball into the back of the net with Krapikas left stranded. We then took the lead again on 77 minutes through an own goal that deflected in off the Fiorentina centre back after a Jacopo Sala cross. It turned out to be the winning goal and I was delighted with this....a big win after 3 games without the taste of victory.

Serie A
Sassuolo 2 - 0 Sampdoria

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Sassuolo had been tipped for a top half finish at the start of the season, but 10 games in and they found themselves down in 18th position, so I felt we had a good opportunity to follow up the win against Fiorentina with another 3 points. The first half was slow and neither team really threatened, but in the 2nd half the game sparked into life with both sides showing more urgency to get forward. Unfortunately, it was Sassuolo who took the lead on 62 minutes through Budimir who beat keeper Krapikas in a one on one. We pushed forward and committed more men to the attack as the game went on, but were caught on the break late on as Sassuolo wrapped up the win with their 2nd goal. A disappointing result following the good performance against Fiorentina.

Serie A
Sampdoria 1 - 2 AC Milan

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3rd placed AC Milan were our next opponents, before the 2 week international break. It took 21 minutes for the first goal to come and I'd like to say it was a quality one....but it wasn't. A defensive error from Milan centre back Van Beek, allowed Denis Alibec to score from about 2 yards out and give us a 1-0 lead. But the lead only lasted 3 minutes as ex Man City striker Iheanacho levelled things up. We continued to press our opponents for the remainder of the half, creating a lot of chances but we were awful when it came to the actual finishing side of things and went into half time at 1-1. I hoped this lack of ability to take our chances wasn't going to come back and bite us on the ****. But that is exactly what happened! The second half was much tighter than the first with Milan coming into the game a bit more and they got the 2nd goal, taken well, to grab a win that they didn't deserve. My lads were struggling to find the back of the net, with the new attacking signings proving to be a shower of **** so far this season.

Serie A
Inter Milan 2 - 1 Sampdoria

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Luis Enrique had been installed as the new manager of struggling Inter Milan only 6 days before this game and we would be his first opponents as Nerazzurri manager. In a very tight first half, Inter scored the only goal of the half through an own goal from centre back Toloi. On 56 minutes, another own goal levelled up the scores at 1-1 and we were right back in it. Unbelievably there was a 3rd own goal still to come, this time from our goalkeeper Krapikas and Inter went on to give Enrique a win in his first game in charge. Worryingly, we had now only won 1 game in our last 7 and had slipped down the table to 10th.


League Table

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A poor month with 3 defeats and only 1 win sees us drop to tenth in the table.


Player of the Month

Salvatore Del Giudice
DM

Appearances: 4
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
Tackles/Tackles Won: 18/16
Average Rating: 7.38


Still only 22 years old, I think Del Giudice has a big future in the game. We've seen massive improvements in training and it's good to see that improvement continuing on the pitch too. Good month with an excellent tackles won ratio across the four games and he even chipped in with a rare goal.


Financial Update

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Not a good month financially and at this rate we'll be in the negative balance by the end of next month.


Injury Update

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A nice healthy squad!


Champions Inter Milan Sack Pioli

Inter Milan have sacked manager Stefano Pioli only 5 months after he won them the Serie A title for the first time in 12 years! Inter have started this season in extremely poor form, having only won 1 of their opening 10 fixtures and Pioli has paid the ultimate price for their poor start.


New Coaching Course For Chris Ball

The board have agreed to send me on a new coaching course. I will now spend the next 6 months studying for a Continental B Licence, which the club are paying for at a cost of £1,200.




 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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December 2023 Review




December 2023 Review

Results

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 0 Pescara

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After such a poor November, we needed to get back to winning ways and fast. Playing 19th place Pescara should of given us the ideal opportunity to do just that. 2 Stephan El Shaarawy goals gave us a comfortable half time lead and we were looking good to kick off December with a win. It did in fact finish 2-0 and its good to get a decent win under our belt after a couple of tough months.

Italian Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Sampdoria 2 - 0 Alessandria


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The fourth qualifying round of the Italian Cup had finally come round and our home game against Alessandria was here. The Serie C side's manager had been giving a lot of interviews throughout the week to the Italian press, saying how he felt there wasn't a huge gulf in quality between the two sides and he expected the game to be quite tight. I wanted to prove the guy wrong and I'd told the press my team would do their talking on the pitch....it was up to the boys not to let me down now. I gave Romero a start up front in the hope he could finally bag his first goal for the club as he'd now made 9 appearances without finding the back of the net. Despite completely dominating the half, it took us 39 minutes to finally score. Roberts Veips getting his first ever goal for the club with a headed effort from a corner. Shortly after the goal, Alessandria went down to ten men and I expected us to push on from here. Less than a minute into the 2nd half and Romero's big moment finally arrived as he bagged his first goal since joining us in the Summer. The stats showed that this game was anything but close, but I have to say I'm still disappointed that we didn't make more of our 20+ chances that were created. We now have a First Round tie away at AC Milan awaiting us.

Serie A
Palermo 0 - 3 Sampdoria


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Back to league action and we found ourselves up against 9th placed Palermo who'd won 3 of their last 5 games so were in decent form. It was us who started the better side, taking the lead inside 10 minutes through Denis Baumgartner who smashed home a close range effort. The home side then went on to be the better team for much of the first 45 minutes but struggled to muster up anything other than a few long shots. Within 10 minutes of the restart, we extended our lead to 2-0 through Leonardo Capezzi with his first goal of the season. Romero came off the bench and capitalized on an awful goalkeeping error to score his 2nd goal in as many games and secure the 3 points for us. The win would also lift us above our opponents in the league table.

Serie A
Sampdoria 4 - 1 Benevento


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Recently promoted Benevento looked like they were going to struggle to stay in this league as they sat 18th with only 11 points from their opening 15 games. This was an opportunity for us to pile on the misery for Benevento and make it 3 wins from 3 in December for us, but it was our opponents who started brightly, almost taking the lead on 7 minutes with midfielder Ciano fizzing a shot inches wide of the post. Only 2 minutes later and we were in front through a Capezzi free kick. Capezzi added another and Denis Alibec got himself on the scoresheet for us to take a 3-0 lead into half time and the victory was looking assured with 45 minutes still left to play. A goal from either side in the second half meant we took a comfortable 4-1 win and another 3 points lifted us to 7th in the table.

Italian Cup 1st Round
AC Milan 1 - 0 Sampdoria

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We'd only played AC Milan a few weeks ago in the league and went down 2-1, even though we'd been the better side for long periods of the game, so I was keen to exert a bit of revenge here if at all possible. The snow was falling on a typical wintery evening and both sets of fans seemed to be in good spirits with Christmas only days away. Milan edged the first half on the stats, but failed to create anything of any real significance and we held strong in defence to go into the break at 0-0. I gave the lads some strong words of encouragement, trying to install some passion into them for the 2nd half. It seemed to work as we came out for the 2nd half with a bit more style about our play, moving the ball around nicely and keeping Milan chasing the game as our opponents struggled to get the ball off us. We were looking good.....but then it happened....the ****** of a referee cost us the game as he awarded Milan an 81st minute penalty for a tackle by centre back Tin Vedvaj. I couldn't believe it as I saw no tackle....what had this ref given a pen for? The ball was crossed in, Vedvaj gets in front of his man and the ball goes out for a corner, only for the ref to blow up for a penalty. 'What the f*ck?' I could be heard saying from the sidelines. The pen was duly converted and Milan knocked us out of the cup but I can't help but feel robbed by the officials. I've watched the replay back countless times and I still fail to spot the so called foul! Gutted!

League Table

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3 wins in the league this month see us rise a couple of places to 8th position. The team on the move is Inter Milan who have risen from 17th to 9th since Luis Enrique took over as manager.


Player of the Month



Stephan El Shaarawy
AML

Appearances: 4
Goals: 2
Assists: 2
Dribbles: 13
Average Rating: 7.93


Great month for El Shaarawy who seems to have finally hit some decent form. Contributing to 4 goals in 4 games this month, he has looked a constant threat in every game and this is reflected by his excellent average rating over the month.


Financial Update

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Another poor month financially sees us drop into negative balance for the first time this season.


Injury Update

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The squad all looks healthy for the new year.

 

BallyC7

Member
Sep 9, 2017
711
0
0
January 2024 Review




January 2024 Review

Results

Serie A
Atalanta 2 - 1 Sampdoria

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Our first game of 2024 would be an away trip to 11th placed Atalanta. It was clear in the early stages of the game that Atalanta were going to be tough to break down. With an extremely defensive formation, they were sitting deep, happy to invite pressure and sit back and defend. We held a lot of possession but when we got in the final third, we were heavily outnumbered and struggled to play through their defence. We were having shots, but all from distance. 25 minutes in and I decided on a change of tactic...we switched from a controlled to a counter style of play in a bid to sit a bit deeper ourselves and try to draw our opponents out from their own half. Half time came and it was still 0-0, even though we had all the play in the first 45 minutes, having 14 shots on goal and 66% possession. Only 7 minutes into the second half and the tactic had paid off as we caught Atalanta on the break and Alibec slotted home to give us a 1-0 lead. However, the team just completely went to sleep from that point....it was weird as they lost all fight, missing tackles all over the pitch. We couldn't string two passes together all of a sudden and Atalanta came right back into the game and within minutes they were level. We continued to play poorly until the end of the game and Atalanta stuck to the task and consigned us to defeat in the 90th minute through striker Simone Mazzocchi. Not a good way to start the new year.

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 1 Genoa

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The della Lanterna Derby against Genoa had been my first game in charge last year when I joined the club, a game that we had won 2-1, and I was hoping for a similar result here. The first half was close with both teams creating good chances but it was Genoa who took one of theirs and took a 1-0 lead into the break. The lad got a kicking off me at half time and I changed to a more attacking formation, dropping the DM role for an AM role. It seemed to spark a revival from the side as we were the much better team in the second half and goals from Abdelhak Nouri and Roberts Veips secured us another 2-1 win over our rivals.

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 1 Empoli

View attachment 80426

Bottom side Empoli were next up and I decided to kick off this game with the same attacking formation that we finished the game against Genoa with. Despite our 61% possession and 11 shots on goal in the first half, it was Empoli that had the best chance when their striker went one on one with Krapikas only to fire wide of the post. We continued our heavy pressure in the 2nd half, but the Empoli goalkeeper was on top form and seemed to be keeping everything out....and on 57 minutes it was our own goalkeeper who had to pull off an outstanding save to keep Empoli out. Our opponents did however hit the back of the net on 59 minutes to take an unlikely lead, and as you can imagine my boys got some harsh words from the sidelines. We continued to heap pressure on the Empoli goal and finally got the equalizer on 78 minutes through Karol Linetty with a low drive to the bottom corner. On 80 minutes, it looked like we'd thrown the game away when Felix Bejimo made a rash challenge inside the box and gave away a penalty....Bonazzoli stepped up and cracked it against the crossbar - what a let off. We continued searching for the winner and it wasn't until the 92nd minute with virtually the last kick of the game that it eventually came. Capezzi fired towards goal from 25 yards, for the ball to deflect off a defender, totally wrong-footing the goalkeeper and hitting the back of the net for all 3 points.

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 0 Novara

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Novara were the next visitors to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium and coming into this off the back of 2 wins, I was looking for another 3 points to push us towards the European qualification spots in the table. 2 second half goals from 2 substitutes secured us the 3 points on the day, with both Abdelhak Nouri and Stephan El Shaarawy getting on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win.

Serie A
Udinese 2 - 2 Sampdoria


View attachment 80424

Udinese away and a tough test expected despite our opponents stuck down in the bottom half of the table. The first thing I will say about Karol Linetty's strike to put us 1-0 up is WOW! A cracking strike as the central midfielder hits a powerful shot from about 35 yards straight into the top corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper no chance. Only 7 minutes later, another moment of magic from Linetty as he cracked a first time shot from 25 yards into the opposite top corner. 2 cracking goals had sent us into the break 2-0 up. The second half was a different story though and Udinese came out fighting, looking a different team to that of the first half, and 2 goals in 6 minutes earned them a draw from a game that was definitely one of two halves.

Serie A
Sampdoria 2 - 1 Bologna

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We'd thrashed Bologna earlier in the season at their place 5-1 and now it was time for the return fixture. Two goals in 2 minutes from either side in the first half meant we went into half time at 1-1. We had completely dominated the whole game with 24 shots on goal to Bologna's 6, so when we scored a winner in the 92nd minute, nobody can say it wasn't deserved.


League Table

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Based on results, January was probably our strongest month of the season so far and saw us rise to 5th in the table and put ourselves in contention for a Europa Cup place.


Player of the Month



Abdelhak Nouri
AMR

Appearances: 6 (3 as sub)
Goals: 3
Assists: 3
Key Passes: 5
Average Rating: 7.55


Nouri hasn't always been one of the first names on the teamsheet this season, but he got a chance for a run of games in January and boy did he deliver. Some excellent performances, involved in both creating and scoring goals and has made an excellent case for himself being more involved in the 2nd half of the season.


Three Players Named In Serie A Team of the Month

Vasco Regini, Felix Beijmo and Karol Linetty were all selected in the January Serie A Team of the Month.

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Financial Update

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The sale of a couple of players brought the bank balance into the positive.


Injury Update

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The club's medical team continue to do a fantastic job, keeping everyone fit and clear of injury.


2 Players Score In Milestone Games

Denis Alibec made his 225th league appearance for the club in the away game against Atalanta. He marked the occasion with a goal, although we did go on to lose the game.


Vasco Regini made his 325th league appearance for the club in the home game against Bologna. He scored a 92nd minute winner in the game to mark the occasion.


New Contract For Captain Linetty

Box to box midfielder Karol Linetty has been handed a new contract with the club. Linetty's previous deal had been set to expire at the end of the season so I am happy to tie down the player for another 3 years. The 28 year old's new contract is as a key player and is worth £41,000 per week. He was also handed a £1.4 million loyalty bonus and will receive a £15k appearance fee on top of his basic wage.


Sell On Clause Pays Off For Sampdoria

My Director of Football has informed me that the club have received £205,000 from the sale of Patrik Schick from Koln to Bremen. The player was sold by Sampdoria to Koln 3 years ago and had a 20% sell on clause in his contract.


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BallyC7

Member
Sep 9, 2017
711
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January Transfer Window Update



January Transfer Window Update

Players Out

Defensive midfielder Giacomo Calo has left the club. Calo had become increasingly frustrated with his lack of opportunities at the club and I thought it best to let him leave and pursue first team football somewhere else. Calo was put up for sale and Hertha Berlin came in with an offer of £3 million immediately. I went back and requested £3.8 million which they agreed to and the transfer has gone through. Calo has spent 7 seasons with Sampdoria, but only managed 27 appearances for the club, all under my management.

View attachment 80418


Inside forward Bernard has left the club after only 6 months. Bernard has been bitterly disappointing since joining the club last Summer and in 9 appearances, he contributed no goals or assists and only managed an average rating of 6.64. We have managed to get back what we spent on the player as he joins Zenit St Petersburg for a fee of £2 million.

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Players In

We have added another promising youngster to the ranks, with the signing of 18 year old centre back Vladanko Zucovic. The Serbian joins us from Partizan where he had already made 24 senior appearances, scoring 1 goal. Zucovic joins us for a fee of £400k up front and we will pay Partizan £20k after 50 league appearances, £20k after 10 international appearances and they will also receive 40% of the profit from his next sale.

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18 year old midfielder Antonio Bioucas has joined the club as a hot prospect for the future. Bioucas joins Sampdoria from Maritimo where he has already made 6 appearances for the senior side. The young Portuguese defensive midfielder will provide extra cover to the first team with the recent departure of Giacomo Calo and joins the club for a fee of £240k. We will also pay Maritimo £24k once the player reaches 50 appearances and they will receive 30% of the profit made from any future sale.

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TheBattman

Member
Mar 20, 2010
272
0
0
Great following this, looks like it's going to be a good season for Sampdoria. Looking at it as a long-term project or a stepping stone?
 

Sammuthegreat

Member
Jul 10, 2014
580
0
0
A few interesting parallels with my time managing in Serie A.

I see you lost to Sassuolo, my absolute #1 bogey team. My Fiorentina side were pretty great, but I just could not beat those green bastards.

I also had Maxi Romero, and he was deeply average. Great stats, mediocre performances. Don't think he ever hit double figures in a season for me. Funnily enough I signed his compatriot Pedro Marques at the same time - both from Sporting, who were in financial troubles at the time - and Pedro Marques scored more than a goal a game during my 3 seasons in Italy. Beast.

Finally - El Shaarawy. I just don't get the hype. I've never seen him do anything impressive in real life or on Footy Manager. Glad he had a good month for you though.

Anyway, keep going - looks like a solid season of improvement on the cards!
 

BallyC7

Member
Sep 9, 2017
711
0
0
Great following this, looks like it's going to be a good season for Sampdoria. Looking at it as a long-term project or a stepping stone?
Thanks mate. I'm actually not entirely sure yet. I am enjoying my time at Sampdoria currently and I'm excited to see how good some of the youngsters turn out that I've brought in, but I think its hard to plan for a long term when you just don't know what's round the corner. But I see myself here for at least a couple of seasons I think....I'd definitely like to at least get the Sampdoria fans some European football.
 

BallyC7

Member
Sep 9, 2017
711
0
0
A few interesting parallels with my time managing in Serie A.

I see you lost to Sassuolo, my absolute #1 bogey team. My Fiorentina side were pretty great, but I just could not beat those green bastards.

I also had Maxi Romero, and he was deeply average. Great stats, mediocre performances. Don't think he ever hit double figures in a season for me. Funnily enough I signed his compatriot Pedro Marques at the same time - both from Sporting, who were in financial troubles at the time - and Pedro Marques scored more than a goal a game during my 3 seasons in Italy. Beast.

Finally - El Shaarawy. I just don't get the hype. I've never seen him do anything impressive in real life or on Footy Manager. Glad he had a good month for you though.

Anyway, keep going - looks like a solid season of improvement on the cards!

I don't know what it is about El Shaarawy....maybe the hair cuts haha! He's been decent for me this season, but does have a tendency to go missing in the big games against the top clubs....so I've started dropping him for these ones. But you stick up against a 2nd rate side and he smashes it, so I intend to utilize him there mainly. Its been a bit of a learning curve with him, but I think I've finally worked him out!
 

BallyC7

Member
Sep 9, 2017
711
0
0
February 2024 Review




February 2024 Review

Results

Serie A
Napoli 1 - 1 Sampdoria

View attachment 80307

We were ready for a run of tough games coming up now with the likes of Lazio, Roma, Juventus, Fiorentina, AC Milan and Inter Milan coming up in our next 10 games. And we started that run here away at Napoli, who were one place above us in 5th. I set out thinking that if I could nab a draw at their place I'd be happy. We were looking good for at least a draw when we took the lead on 40 minutes through substitue Arber Zeneli with his 1st goal of the season. For a long time it looked like we might actually hold on for all 3 points, but the Napoli pressure increased as the game went on until they eventually did scramble the ball over the line for a late equalizer in the 92nd minute of the game. Although I'd have happily taken a draw before the game, I have to admit it now feels like a massive kick in the teeth drawing the game so late in the game.

Serie A
Sampdoria 0 - 0 Carpi


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With the run of games we had coming up, it was important that we bagged all 3 points here against Carpi whose form had dropped off over the last couple of months and seen them slide down into the bottom half of the table. We looked ok in the first half, definitely having more of the play but without really creating anything....I wanted more from the lads and told them as much at half time. This is a game we had to win. But the goal we needed to win the game never came...we just wasn't good enough today. Yes we were the better team on stats, yes our opponents were kept well away from our goal and never threatened, but ultimately we have no excuse for not winning this game and this is a poor point with some very tough fixtures on the horizon.

Serie A
Lazio 3 - 3 Sampdoria


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It was 6th vs 7th as we took on Lazio away. The first half saw us shade the possession stats but the chances created were very even, with the main difference being that we took 2 of ours and Lazio failed to score any of their 8 shots on target. Goals from Denis Alibec and Abdelhak Nouri saw us take a 2-0 lead into half time. I encouraged the boys to keep their wits about them and not let up as the game could easily turn on its head if we lose concentration. Lazio did make a perfect start to the 2nd half, getting a goal back within 5 minutes and I thought we might struggle to hold out for another 40 minutes! However, 5 minutes later and we restored our 2 goal lead with Abdelhak Nouri bagging his 2nd of the game. But that cushion only lasted 8 minutes this time as Lazio pulled one back again. 3-2 with 30 minutes to go.... On 73 minutes, Lazio whipped in a corner and when Felix Beijmo jumped with Lauri Makinen for the ball, our centre back was judged to have pulled the player back and the referee awarded what I saw to be a soft penalty. Lazio were level when Makinen himself stepped up and put the ball away for 3-3! The game finished that way and again I have mixed feelings - glad we got a draw away from home against a top side, but gutted that we'd chucked a 2 goal lead.

Serie A
Sampdoria 0 - 1 Roma


View attachment 80304

Our next game would see the visit of 3rd placed Roma to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium, who were coming into this off the back of a 4-1 defeat to Juventus. I was hoping they would come into the game with a dent in their confidence after that! Instead it seemed to be proviking the inevitable reaction of a decent performance as they were much the better side for the first 25 minutes, all over us in fact. Then Kostas Manolas was sent off in the 28th minute for an awful two footed challenge, leaving Roma with 10 men for the remaining 60 minutes and I sensed an opportunity. My lads did pick up their game and we were the better side by far for the remainder of the game but just couldn't find the back of the net. Unfortunately for us, Roma did score with possibly their only shot in the 2nd half and I was gutted to walk away from this game with a defeat. We had now not won in 4 games in the league and with Juventus on the horizon, things weren't looking good at the moment.

Serie A
Juventus 1 - 0 Sampdoria

View attachment 80303

Juventus away....a tough day at the office was expected. And the first half was exactly that....tough! Juventus were all over us dominating in every area of the pitch...they had the lion's share of possession and created 11 chances to our 2! They'd taken one of their chances and took a 1-0 lead into the break. I almost felt useless at half time as I just didn't know what I could say to encourage my team to turn this game around. I told the lads to get back out there and give it a good go as they had nothing to lose, but none of them really looked inspired....I was looking at a dejected team very low on confidence right now. The 2nd half continued in the same vein as the first, complete dominance from Juve and we just wasn't in the game. No more goals came and we went down 1-0. Now no win in 5 for us!

League Table

View attachment 80302

No wins this month had seen us drop to 8th in the league table. We'd need to turn this form around quickly if we were going to see ourselves compete for a potential Europa League qualification spot.


Player of the Month



Vasco Regini
DL

Appearances: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Interceptions: 33
Average Rating: 7.25


The veteran full back has been ultra consistent this month, in a month where the whole team has not performed exceptionally well.


Financial Update

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Back in the red!


Injury Update

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All good on the injury front.


Ball Calls Team Meeting At Training

I called a team meeting after the Juventus game. I had to! This team looked down, dejected, broken almost and they needed a lift. They needed inspiring. We were still in with a chance of a decent season here, but we needed to turn this form around quick for the final 10 games of the campaign. I called the boys together and told them I was keen for them not to let their heads drop. I acknowledged things hadn't been going great lately, but we had it in us to turn this around. I got the boys to understand that we'd had an incredibly tough run of games, where we hadn't been pre match favourites to win, so not to beat themselves up about it.

I got a fantastic reaction from the lads and as I watched them leave the training ground that morning, I could see the odd smile and a little bit more bounce about them. I felt good, positive for the first time in a month. Bring on Torino!
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