Welcome back guys, after our slow start to the season in August leaving us with 1 win in 6 games and lying in 19th – 3 points above the relegation zone, the next few months require a vast improvement in results.
With the new players coming in, the squad did need time to adapt and gel together. Training was based around tactical, attack and defence elements on a week by week basis (rotating each week) and also our reliable tactical style of wing play was also used to get everyone rocking with that tactic once again…or so I hoped.
3 months worth results will be viewed during this episode, takeover talks begin as the chairman looks as if she’s had enough (finally!) and we get a very tempting job offer from an exciting Premier League team.
5 games all in the league to tend with, not the most straight forward month with some tough teams in there but points were more than possible.
Or so it seemed. Another stuttering month where the majority of the time we just couldn’t get the job done. There was promising signs of progression however, as we looked a bit better defensively despite the loss at QPR 1-0. In the 1-1 draw with Millwall we took the lead through Tarrelle Whittaker but Millwall kept knocking on the door and equalised in the 79th min, unfortunate but again we were slowly looking better.
Next up was Stoke which was a 2-0 loss. They have a very good side and were knocking about the play offs, it was always going to be a tough one to get points from. Then up next was Blackpool and thankfully we got our first win in 6 league games in a convincing 2-0 win vs. The Seasiders. Good attacking play from the boys and was hoping for more of the same against Bristol City, where we got a respectable 1-1 draw.
We are improving and I was seeing on it on the pitch too. The shape tactically was a lot better and the players were starting to make better decisions on the ball.
It was always going to pop up at some point on this quest, having had rumours batted away by the board in League 1 & 2. The new interest had the most traction I’d seen yet.
To give you some background, we’re not a fan of Nicolo Pio Barattiero Di San Pietro but what an outstanding name by the way! When Nicolo was first interested he announced his vision of replacing me (even after all I’ve done for the club!) and then it comes to light he would reduce the focus on transfers if he took over?! This man is only capable of putting the club down an even bigger hole than they had already experienced. We had a transfer embargo to tend with at this point as well.
I didn’t know too much about the second consortium Billy Hewitson but the less press the better in my eyes!
But then literally a day later, this happens…
Everyone decides F’ it they don’t want any part of it due to the valuation, probably the extra £16 million added on to clear the debt but all I care about is my job is safe as long as Nicolo doesn’t come back for round 2…
4 league games in October due to an international break, I did fancy ourselves in 2-3 of these games.
We get off to a flyer vs. Portsmouth winning 4-2. It was a crazy game and Portsmouth clawed it back to 3-2 on the 83rd minute after our 3-0 lead deteriorated but super sub Jonathan Alofabi tells Pompey not today, slamming home a strike in the box in the 89th minute. Great result. Changing to the vertical tiki tika 5-2-1-2 vs. West Ham, we held our own drawing 0-0 which was a good point at home.
Unfortunately, the side went back to playing like lost sheep and fell to a poor 1-0 loss to Birmingham. Just terrible from everyone, defence were out at sea, non-existent midfielders and my attackers landed more balls in your back garden than the kid next door. Up next was Coventry and we take a comfortable 3-1 win, safe to say I asked for a better showing and they gave me what I wanted.
7 big points on the board and bar the one loss we were starting to look a bit more dangerous in games.
Again, a handful of games in November and we were playing teams who were around us or below us bar Nottingham Forest who were flying high in the play off places.
I believe that if you’re beating the teams around you then you will progress up the league and keep yourself safe from the drop zone. The team were slowly starting to build momentum and we carried it on by winning our first 3 games of the month making it 4 wins a row!
Reading who were relegated from the big time last season were struggling adjusting back to Championship life and we took full advantage beating ‘the Royals’ 2-0 comfortably. Another satisfying performance putting away Barnsley 3-0 as on loan striker Tarrelle Whittaker shows he is the main man up front with a brace in what is proving to be a very good loan spell so far.
Next up we had Peterborough who found themselves contending in the play offs last season but couldn’t make the final. This season was quite the contrary as they find themselves struggling for form lying in 16th when this game was played. They gave us a game but we were resilient and ran to a 2-1 win against ‘the Posh’.
The tough test was against ‘Forest but they got the better of us, in a 2-1 loss for us. There was definitely positives but their quality in the final third shone through. The improvement in how we were playing was great to see and its good we are able to give a very good team a run for their money.
Very happy with November all in all, 9 massive points as we look to progress to safer areas within the league table.
Now that we’ve racked up some wins and a decent amount of points over the last 3 months, let’s have a look and see where we have progressed to within the league.
We rise to 14th having bumped our wins up to 7 and also holding a +5 GD which is a big positive for being in the bottom half the table. It is a hard league to sometimes sustain form but now we are really starting to get going and I think I have found our best/go to XI finally, I will look to share this when episode 3 is released.
In the next episode we will be tackling December through to the end of February which also includes the January Transfer window and the start of the FA Cup for us where we will face League One’s Rotherham United in the 3rd Round. A lot to look forward to in that one as I will be looking to judge what areas will make us better going in the transfer window.
While you are exploring the DP-FM site, go take a look at Louis’ (Co-blogger/creator of DP-FM) challenge where he is embarking on his series ‘Unemployed, Unskilled & Inexperienced’ which is currently on season 5. This entails Louis starting from the bottom of his management career with no coaching badges and low attributes to add to the fun!
To go from the start – https://dpfmblog.com/2020/12/21/unemployed-unskilled-inexperienced-season-1-episode-1/
Or to go from the current season – https://dpfmblog.com/2021/01/30/unemployed-unskilled-inexperienced-s5-ep-1-semi-pro-to-efl-league-one/
Thanks as always guys, make sure you subscribe to the blog and follow us on twitter @DP_FM_ and I will be back with the next edition soon!