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Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story
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  1. Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-sky.png


    Breaking news reaching us here at Sky Sports is that Burton manager Nigel Clough has sensational quit the club on the eve of their Championship bow. Sources are telling us that the row is over transfer/wage budgets for the upcoming season, with Clough stating that they are nowhere near high enough to compete at the bottom end of the championship, let alone with the big boys and their parachute payments
    Last edited by Ralph2211; 03/02/2017 at 10:27 PM.

  2. Figures being talked about are a transfer budget of around £150k and wage budget of £6k per week would certainly put them towards the bottom of the scale in the championship, and it was this perceived lack of ambition on the clubs behalf that has forced Clough to walk away from the club as they embark on what will probably be their biggest challenge to date on their meteoric rise from non-league football just a few years ago.


  3. All focus now falls on who the club can bring in to replace the much loved Clough, with many fans siding with their now former manager the pressure is on the Chairman to make the right choice. With a number of managers out of work there are plenty of candidates to take over and the Board at Burton have indicated that they hope to have an appointment by the end of the week.





  4. Burton Alboin have today appointed former Everton, Porto and RB Leipzig player Ralph Lavery as their new manager. Since retiring from playing the N.Ireland international has been studying at a local university back home in Belfast whilst gaining his coaching qualifications and appearing as a pundit for the BBC coverage of the Irish League and on Sky for N.Ireland games. Despite a wealth of playing experience he has never managed and this has left some fans sceptical and worried that his lack of managerial experience could cost the team in the long run.

  5. So it was my first day on the job and I arrived at the Pirelli Stadium and was whisked straight into a press conference. Not what I was hoping to do, I wanted to go and access the playing staff at training however as it was pre-season the players had a double session booked so that would have to wait.
    In a went and along with local newspaper and radio was Sky Sports so at least I wasn’t faced with a scrum of reporters, as dealing with the press wasn’t a strong point for me and definitely not something I enjoyed. Think I will be sending the assistant to these from now on!
    So all the usual questions about ambition of the club and given the reason the previous manager ad resigned I guess they were to be expected. I toed the club line about cutting our cloth appropriately and not overspending and putting the clubs future in doubt. I agreed that the budgets were low but that I was happy with them and was positive throughout even when asked if I was selling myself short by becoming Burton manager.


  6. Once the press conference was over I was straight down to the training to have a look at what I would be working with and I was beginning to see what Cloughie meant as the squad was ok but definitely in need of a number of players to keep us in the Championship and the budgets we have wasn’t going to be enough. After training I sat down with the coaching team and discussed the squad. I found out that we had a few players on loan who were ok but given that they were taking up almost a third of the wage budget and were only ok I decided to terminate the loans of everyone except the right back John Brayford. This would give me a few extra quid in wages to bring in my own players and ensure that the next couple of days were spent calling round agents to see who was out of contract that could add something to my squad.


  7. Burton Sign Six
    New Manager Ralph Lavery has wasted no time in reshaping his Burton team. He terminated the loans with the club and has set about binging in his own players.
    3 signed on free transfers and these all look like exciting signings of young players, all with a chequered past and several clubs and all with a point to prove. If these nomad players can find a home at the Pirelli and the form that goes with that then the bookmakers may be wide of the mark in making Burton favourites for the drop.


  8. 3 loan signings are you up and coming players signed from some the biggest teams in England. Both Manchester clubs and Arsenal have sent 1 of their future stars to Burton with the hope of some game time and that Ralph can improve them whilst benefitting Burton.


  9. Anyone know why pictures are uploading. If I try to copy/paste the see above for the result. If I try clicking the upload image button once I selected the file and clicked upload image nothing happens. Any help greatly appreciated

  10. Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-transfer-history.png

    Manager Lavery said “I more than happy with the business we have managed to get done. I think the 3 permanent signings are very good players and we may have raised a few eyebrows with the quality that we have managed to bring in, whilst the loanees help pad out the squad giving us a few options not just of personnel but also of systems we can play.”

    So with most of our business completed early it was onto pre-season. As I had been up to my eyes in identifying targets and negotiating contracts I had left the friendlies to my assistant who had pick a nice mix of opponents that would hopefully allow us to hit the ground running when the season started.

  11. Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures.png

    A mixed bag of results as we searched for our best line up and formation, however a few pleasing performances and fitness at a good level whilst we still have a bit to go to get the formation up to speed.

    So onwards towards what would be my managerial debut and it’s good to see that the fixture computer has a sense of humour as we play a local derby against Nottingham Forest, one of the stronger teams in the league, away! Well this could either be disastrous or it could set us up for a good season. Lets see.

  12. Fan of this!
    Ralph2211 likes this.

  13. Thanks mate.

  14. So August was an up and down month, book ended with derby wins but with a few disappointing results in between.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-aug.png

    The Forest and Derby games probably could have gone either way as we had more of the ball and matched them with attempts, even if more of ours were off target, but more than happy with to local derby wins. The EFL Cup was a distraction that we didn’t really need and I was too disappointed to go out, though all the way to penalties on both occasions did nothing for fitness especially with a smallish squad. Our game against Blackburn a draw was probably a fair result as we shaded procession whilst they shaded shots, that and we had just switched formation. That was prompted by two heavy defeats which looking back on it seem harsh given that we had more procession and shots in both games but failed to take our chances and were hit on the break in both games. It was this that made me swap an attacking midfielder for a defensive one. All in all not too bad a start to life in the second tear with 7 points from our first 5 games a reasonable return for the team predicted to finish bottom.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures-3.png  

  15. So after a solid if unspectacular start to my time at Burton I really wanted to kick on in September. We had a few games which I had identified as winnable and we need to continue to pick up points and push towards that magical 50 points mark, which I hoped would be enough to keep us in the division.

    Attachment 1101425

    I was a little down after only drawing with Wolves but a point away from home is not to be sniffed at I suppose. Defeat away to Norwich was pretty mush expected given that they have just come down and I fully expect them to be pushing for promotion this season. However I was more that pleased with our 3 wins and not just wins but clean sheets as well. Now it was three 1-0 wins but we bossed each game and completely deserved to win each of the, I mean Fulham only managed 3 shots and not one of them on target. So 10 points from a possible 15 and I was beginning to think I had cracked it and that we should be thinking more about play-offs than relegation.

  16. So we started October with another 1-0 win however things didn’t go quite as planned from there on in.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-oct.png
    So three defeats on the spin certainly wiped the smug smile off my face. What was most frustrating was that we were the better team in all 3 defeats controlling procession and creating chances that we were just failing to take. A point at Leeds at least ended the month on the up, and perhaps I need to look at playing two up top?

  17. Only three games in November and we need to get back to picking up points if we are to have any chance of surviving.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-nov.png
    Two defeats in games were things were fairly even and then a draw against Preston which was definitely the correct result as each team only had a single shot on target each. Really beginning to worry now, our form of late has been horrendous and we are dropping down the table rapidly. Its now nearly two months since we have won a match and during that time we have only picked up two points. That’s relegation form if ever I’ve seen it! I think a team meeting and either a change of tactic or personell may be in order.

  18. So team meeting completed and the lads agreed that they can’t let their heads drop and that they need to buck up their ideas if we are to get ourselves out of the mess that we are creating. Five games in December, six if you include New Years Day and the Christmas period will mean rotation, and we haven’t got a squad for rotation. Couple that with the teams that are 1st and 2nd in the table and this could be a month to forget especially give our form.
    First up were matches against Rotherham and Brentford, two teams at the wrong end of the table and games that we really need to win in order to put a bit of a gap between us and the relegation zone. Then it’s the top two followed by Christmas/New Year and 3 games in six days.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-dec.png

    So a slow starts to the month but draws are better than defeats but it does mean that we don’t extend the gap like I’d hoped we would. Then a ding-dong of a game against top of the table Huddersfield. We are go 2 up they pull it back with 2 goals just after half time. We retake the lead just after the hour only to be pegged back again. I’m fully expecting to lose only for Macheda to get an injury time winner. I think I scared the dog when I cheered! A draw with the Toon was ok but as we were 2 up it could have been so much better. A shuffled pack beat a struggling Villa side in a game we never looked like losing, then two disappointing draws again against teams I’d hope to be beating. Overall a great month, unbeaten and 11 points leaves us around mid-table at the turn of the year.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-table.png

  19. So we head into January with four games coming up and a FA cup game to start with. Much like the EFL cup it is by no means a priority. Of our three league games I’d ideally like to win at least two and keep us looking up rather than down the table. January also brings the transfer window and a new contract; they must think I’m doing something right. Unfortunately as far as the window goes we have 0 transfer budget and less than £200 wage budget this is despite asking for more of both before my contract negotiations and as part of them. I guess loans were we pay nothing is the best we can hope for.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-jan.pngClick image for larger version

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    So a hammering in the cup which only worried me because it could have a major impact on confidence. However we bounced back straight away with a good win at home to Wigan. Away to Cardiff was always going to be difficult and whilst I had hoped for better against Fulham a draw and another point towards safety can only be pleasing. We head into a busy February with six games coming up and its beginning to move towards the business end of the season. I’m still confident we will avoid the drop, and could even push for a top half finish if only we can start to score. Macheda is out of form so we need either him to rediscover his or someone else to step up.
    We do manage to bring in three loans two on deadline day both from Man City, a centre back as we have a few injuries and suspensions there and an attacker to maybe score/create a few goals, we also secure a winger from Liverpool as cover on the left.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-trans.png

  20. So February was a busy month and if we could pick up 9 points I’d be more than happy.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-feb.png
    So a mixed bag of results and performances. Against Wolves we were the better team and should have won, however Derby battered us and we managed to take all 3 points. The Brighton game kind of pick up were the Derby game had left off with us not being at the races except this time we weren’t so lucky. QPR was a poor match and 0-0 was about right, don’t remember a clean cut chance for either team. Our performance against a strong Norwich team pleased me just a shame we couldn’t get the 3 points we deserved, again our lack of a cutting edge costing us. Blackburn blew us away and our injury time goal put a better look to the score than we deserved. We are clean of relegation at the minute just concerned about our lack of goals and that a poor run could easily pull us into a regelation scrap.

  21. March could be a big month when it comes to deciding our fate. We play 2 of the bottom three and wins in those games could all nut cement our place in the Championship for another season. I’d ideally like to pick up 9 points from our 4 games with six of those coming against teams below us and struggling.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-march.png
    So not the 9 points I was hoping for but unbeaten and at least one of the teams I wanted to beat we did, and this kept Forays bottom. Whilst we aren’t conceding many we aren’t exactly score hatfulls either. I’m beginning to lose patients with Macheda who has had the arm around him and been told I have faith in him but he now hasn’t scored for 13 games, not all starts granted, but he is warned about his form and told in no uncertain terms to pull his socks up.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-table-2.png

  22. So with just over a month of the season left we are 15th and looking good for survival, only 1 point needed to reach the target I had set before the season started. With 8 games remaining I hope to be mathematically safe soon and after that everything is a bonus.
    So first up are away trips to title chasing Huddersfield and Newcastle. Struggling Villa and play-off hopefuls Ipswich then visit The Pirelli whilst another home game with Leeds is sandwiched between away days in Birmingham and Barnsley. We bring the curtain down on our first ever season in The Championship with Reading at home, and baring a massive collapse on our part and an equally massive upturn in fortunes for one of the bottom clubs we can then start planning for next season.
    So a good win against Huddersfield which dents their title challenge is followed by a poor result against Newcastle. We then dispatched Villa to secure our Championship status for another season. It seemed like the boys might be on the beach as we fell to successive 1-0 defeats before a warning about complacency meant 7 points from our final 3 games with wins over Leeds and Reading and a draw at Barnsley.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-apr.png
    So I had done my bit and kept us up finishing 14th and closer to the play-offs that relegation, points wise. Just need the board to come up with a decent budget as the squad is going to be decimated with our loanees returning to their parent clubs, all six of them plus a number of players retiring. This and there are a few has beens and never will bes who will not be getting new contracts all of which could leave us pretty thin on the ground

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-final-table.png
    The end of season awards were announced as follows:
    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-toty.png

  23. So we reported back for pre-season and we were definitely looking a bit short of numbers. Myself and the scouting team had spent the summer break looking at players that we might be able to bring in and either improve the team or offer us something a little different, but once I realised that between retirements, loanees returning to their parent clubs and those who either weren’t offered a new contract or didn’t want a new contract that we had lost 20 players from the squads it suddenly might be more about quantity rather than quality. We had a budget of a £1m and a spare 20k per week in wages but I wasn’t sure that’d be enough. I also wanted as many of the players in early so we could have a full pre-season. This could be difficult.

  24. So by the time the window slammed shut I had managed to do a bit of business and was reasonably happy with the quality I had managed to bring in. We were a little down on numbers but up on quality in my opinion.Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-transfer-history-2.png

  25. So pre-season we had four games with three against weaker opposition and then one against Championship rivals Derby. We had a mixed bag of results winning 2 drawing one and losing to Derby, which was disappointing especially as we are due to play them first game of the season.Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures.png
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures-2.png  

  26. So with fitness gained we head into the season and if I’m honest I’m concerned that we may suffer from 2nd season syndrome and I’ve a feeling that this could be more of a struggle than last season and survival will again be the main aim. Things were going well until on the eve of the new season I turn down a bid for Jackson Irvine that is less than his value. I think nothing of it until I’m presented with this on the morning of our first league match.Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-ralph-lavery_-inbox.png

    Just what I need pretty much the entire first team squad have the hump with me, it going to be a long season!

  27. August was going to be a busy month with eight games in both league and cup. This will test my squad depth and we will see pretty quickly how well are new signings get on.
    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures-2.png

    So a real inconsistent month see us lose 3 in the league and only pick up 7 points whilst progressing to the 3rd round of the EFL cup. I would have happily swapped those 2 cup win for one league win as I’m sure points are going to be at a premium, however 7 points from 6 games does set us on the way to our 50 point target. September needs to be more consistent and ideally with a few more points in the bag.

  28. Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures-3.png

    So I got my wish as we were certainly more consistent, consistently losing! We were terrible for most of the month though once high flying Fulham rocked up we seem to find some form and then carry that over to our game against bottom club Charlton meaning that at least we end the month on a high, having at one point dropped into the bottom 3.

  29. So October had started well with the win over Charlton and we need to continue this form and try to move away from the bottom 3. With games against QPR, Cardiff, Swansea and Hull picking up points could be difficult, so I’d settle for 5 points from these 4 matches.
    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-senior-fixtures-4.png

    So 1 point from 4 games and we are really struggling again and the 2 wins at the back end of September look like we were papering over the cracks. What’s worse is we weren’t even in the games and deserved to lose all of them and were probably lucky to get a point. We currently sit 1 place above the relegation zone and only on goal difference! Bad times! November only has 3 games all against top half opponents so we could be in for another difficult month.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-nov.png
    A win a draw and a defeat, giving the opposition and the form that we have been in I’ll take it. Huddersfield are pushing for the title whilst Ipswich and Villa are currently pushing for the playoffs so 4 points is probably all we could hope for. It doesn’t move us too far up the table but at least we now have a 2 point gap on the bottom 3. With December bring 8 games and several against teams who are down in the relegation scrap with ourselves a good month could save us and a bad month could really put the pressure on.

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    So a month that started badly against a Barnsley side who were just above us and really had me worried, however I shouldn’t of worried. The guys started by hammering bottom of the table Millwall and just carried this form right throughout the month, winning both our local derby matches and also despatching top of the table Boro in their own backyard. Draws with Brighton, Bristol and Reading kept the points rolling in and helped ease any relegation fears. This is probably the best that we have played under my stewardship and if we can keep this form up from now to the end of the season, who knows where we could finish.
    January brings FA cup and the transfer window. I had agreed to sign a couple of youngsters with a bit of potential who would go into the u23s to start with, and as they were signed on frees it means that we weren’t going to lose anything on them. That was all the business I had planned until on the 2nd January Derby bid £5m (including add-ons) for Jackson Irvine. I didn’t want to sell him but he wanted to go was unhappy and wouldn’t sign a new contract and whilst there was still 18 months left on it I was concerned that I would get a offer this high again, so off he went.
    The money meant I could renew a few contracts so that I didn’t half to rebuild the team again in the summer and I also started to look to bring in some younger talent who were available at reduced rates that worse case would make some profit when resold and best case would improve the team and be the cornerstones for years to come. Also added a few free transfers to pad out the squad.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-burton-albion-fc_-transfer-history.png
    Last edited by Ralph2211; 09/02/2017 at 02:55 PM.

  31. So now to the matches, could we continue our form from December or would we be back to our inconsistent best?
    Well in the league we continued were we had left off with 3 wins from 3 however we did go out of the FA cup to Hull on a reply with an injury time winner, gutted but now we could concentrate on the league.

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    We now haven’t lost in the league since the 2nd December and are starting to look up rather than down the league. We sit 13th and only 5 points off a playoff place, which given the form we have been in of late is by no means insurmountable.
    Last edited by Ralph2211; 09/02/2017 at 03:59 PM.

  32. Hi I just had a quick skim through this and thought I'd offer some help on the layout if that's ok. When you are uploading a photo from your files choose the image then once it appears on screen it'll be on the left right? Double click on it and it will let you choose the image size and location. Centre is always best for images and depending on the image size itself you can adjust it between medium and large to see what looks best. Also I see on your images with fixtures you have cropped the fixtures you want to show but you have a white backround at the bottom and on the right. What are you using to crop? I use paint to crop all my images and it works perfectly believe it or not.

    PS. Feel free to mail me if you need help with it.

  33. Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-sky-bet-championship_-overview-stages-2.png

    So with our form being as it is I’m for the first time linked with a job that isn’t another Championship, Scottish, or bottom 3 Premier League side, and apparently I’m a leading contender.

    Let’s Try Not to Piss this All Away: A Burton Albion Story-ralph-lavery_-inbox.png

    Question is do I jump ship to the team I played for?

  34. Quote Originally Posted by 1magine View Post
    Hi I just had a quick skim through this and thought I'd offer some help on the layout if that's ok. When you are uploading a photo from your files choose the image then once it appears on screen it'll be on the left right? Double click on it and it will let you choose the image size and location. Centre is always best for images and depending on the image size itself you can adjust it between medium and large to see what looks best. Also I see on your images with fixtures you have cropped the fixtures you want to show but you have a white backround at the bottom and on the right. What are you using to crop? I use paint to crop all my images and it works perfectly believe it or not.

    PS. Feel free to mail me if you need help with it.
    Thanks mate. Just been using word to crop my pics will try paint and using the sizing as suggested,as I wasn't happy how the pics were appearing but as I couldn't get them to upload at all at one point I was just happy that they were appearing.

  35. Quote Originally Posted by Ralph2211 View Post
    Thanks mate. Just been using word to crop my pics will try paint and using the sizing as suggested,as I wasn't happy how the pics were appearing but as I couldn't get them to upload at all at one point I was just happy that they were appearing.
    No worries!

  36. I use this site for cropping mate:

    LunaPic | Free Online Photo Editor

    I would recommend it over paint, image quality is usually poor once it goes through paint.

  37. Quote Originally Posted by yescomeon View Post
    I use this site for cropping mate:

    LunaPic | Free Online Photo Editor

    I would recommend it over paint, image quality is usually poor once it goes through paint.

    Even better then. Had a look at the website there but will likely stick with paint myself as it's less work lol!

  38. So despite being a leading contender for the Everton job I didn’t even get a interview! Not that I would have left anyway.
    So February I hope would just carry on from the previous months and we’d continue to push up the table towards the promised land of the playoffs. So 5 matches against teams who were like ourselves looking to push onwards and upwards but given our form I was confident of getting at least 10 points.

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    Oh well that didn’t go to plan. The frustrating thing was that we were the better team in all but the Wolves game were I don’t even know what happened but we got schooled. This has put a major dent in our playoff hopes and we need to buck up our ideas if we want to get even close.
    So March brings trips to Cardiff, QPR, and Ipswich whilst the Pirelli will host Swansea. Cardiff are up in the mix for automatic promotion so could prove to be a difficult game whereas the other teams are in and around ourselves, so a few wins could boost our league position no end.

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    So another poor month with not even 1 win. I’m beginning to worry that this loss of form could drag us into a relegation scrap, let’s just hope no one below us can find some form, either that or that we can rediscover ours!
    Only six games left and I think it would take an absolute disaster for us to go down. I am really concerned that we won’t show any improvement on last season in either points or position, though I do believe we have a much stronger squad and one were half of them aren’t out of contract at the end of the season. I’m kinda ready for this season to be done, and just need to pick up some points and keep moving in the right direction.

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  39. Another inconsistent month and I think the loss of form over the last few months is down to me tinkering with the starting 11 too much and losing both our 1st team keepers didn’t help, but I feel that not really knowing my best 11 really hurt us towards the end of the campaign.

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    As feared we finish 1 point and 2 places worse off than last season. Really need to push on next season and a decent budget would help, we currently have just short of 15k in wages and about 800k in transfer budget so a few quid on top would be nice, as I fell we need 2/3 first team players to push us to the next level.

    The end of season awards:
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    Not sure I’d agree with Macheda not even making the top 3 for Player of the Season, as without his 22 goals we would really have struggled. He did get some recognition though:

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  41. The first season a relative challenge in my opinion but the second is the key. You have a tonne of decent players on a shorter contracts ie Dyer, Turner etc Do you keep them and break the bank to sign them? Do you risk selling one of your best players ie Irvine or Palmer to generate some extra funds and reinvest that. You do not have the luxury of the quality loan signings ie Brayford (a rock in my save) & Ward and finding the experienced value comes at a big old price in the Championship.
    Ralph2211 likes this.

  42. Quote Originally Posted by brooksey84 View Post
    The first season a relative challenge in my opinion but the second is the key. You have a tonne of decent players on a shorter contracts ie Dyer, Turner etc Do you keep them and break the bank to sign them? Do you risk selling one of your best players ie Irvine or Palmer to generate some extra funds and reinvest that. You do not have the luxury of the quality loan signings ie Brayford (a rock in my save) & Ward and finding the experienced value comes at a big old price in the Championship.
    1st season was ok but had a few of the older players such as dyer retire Spent most of my 2nd year budget trying to replace the players who were on loan, retired or out of contract, so kind of stood still. Sold Irvine winter of 2nd season an used that money to renew contracts and try to bring a couple of players in. Just in pre-season of 3rd and very little money again not sure if there will be significant improvement this year either, unless I sell one of my better players, not that I have had any bids.

  43. So I leave for the summer holiday with big plans for whom to bring in. I despatch scouts to check out youngsters from Premier League clubs with just months left on their contracts, in the hope that our budget will be increased further and we can make that push towards the playoffs. Upon returning to the club I find out that we have actually had our transfer and wage budgets reduced, meaning that any hopes of attracting the likes of Mathew Pennington and Sam Johnstone who we had be scouting were slim (even slimmer when both wanted £30k+) So new targets were needed and identified, some of whom may be a bit familiar.

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  45. So Phil Bardsley and Adam Le Fondre both leave after disappointing seasons and with both being on reasonably big wages I couldn't afford to have them as squad players so off they went. Mousinho and Akins I would have liked to have kept but both were wanting contracts of around 10k per week which I couldn't afford to give them even if I wanted to so They joined youngster Delaney in leaving on frees.

    So how good are their replacements? Lets see

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    Tosin Adarabioyo joins for a third season on loan from Man City. A solid centre half who is good in the air strong and reasonably quick, a good addition to our defense.

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    Filippo Berra joins as a back-up right back. Having sold Phil Bardsley after a season were he massively under preformed we needed both a first choice and back-up and Berra was cheap and had a bit of potential.

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    Moreno Rutten will be our first choice right back solid all round and his long throw may create a few chances for. I know I conceded from a few last season, let’s hope we can score a few.

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    Davide Monteleone was next up and brought in to add further depth to the Centre back position. Young and with some room to grow for free we can’t really go wrong. I also spotted this on the social media feed:
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    Let’s hope so!

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    Another returning face is Simone Emmanuello. Spent last season on loan with us and I was only too happy to pick him up on a free after his contract expired. A decent rotation option given the number of games in the Championship.

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    Another returning face is Simone Emmanuello. Spent last season on loan with us and I was only too happy to pick him up on a free after his contract expired. A decent rotation option given the number of games in the Championship.

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    The final first team player to join is striker Mikael Uhre. Just brought in to offer support to Macheda and given that Le Fondre was sold and Shankland hasn’t hit the ground running another striking option was needed.
    There were a couple of other buys but they were just free transfers who may progress a bit and either make me a few quid or even better break into the first team.

  47. So with signing made we turned our attention to our pre-season games. We had 2 against weaker foreign opposition a game against Fleetwood that we should be winning then our usual game with Derby that could go either way.

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    So convincing wins in our first two games and of course plenty of players getting some game time to gain fitness. Defeat to Fleetwood and Derby have me doubting that we can push on this season and I’m beginning to think another season around the wrong end of the table beckons.

  48. So not exactly on form as we head into our first game of the season against one of the strongest teams in the division in Aston Villa. A busy August continues when Notts Co. and Brentford visit the Pirelli in the EFL cup and league respectively. Then we are off to Port Vale which will round the month off unless we progress in the cup. I’m targeting 9 points and a win in the cup from these games.

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    So the month starts badly and that sinking feeling I had at the end of pre-season is getting stronger, what’s worse is the Villa game was so even that to lose was bad enough to lose 3-0 seemed very harsh and I just hoped it wasn’t going to be the sign of things to come.
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    As you can see 3-0 is harsh, at least in my opinion. Anyway a cup win gets us back on track and we follow that up with 3 straight league wins. A defeat to Premier League West Ham in another tight game means we are out of the cup, but that’s not something that concerns me, especially given the number of changes I had made. Overall a good month were at one point we were even top of the table, granted it was only because we played on the Friday night but I will take all the small victories I can get.

  49. September brings 5 games in the league and I’m hoping we can build on the momentum we have and another 9 points surely has to be the aim especially with 3 home games.

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    So we start with another defeat to a team that plays in Claret and Blue, what is it with Claret and Blue? 3 defeats this season and they all play in claret and blue, if we lose to Scunthorpe then I know there is something wrong. 3 draws and a win from the other 4 games isn’t exactly what I was after but I’m not too disappointed.

    October has six games and again I’m looking at winning 9 points from these games, though Claret and Blue wearing Scunthorpe would seem to be a nailed on defeat based on the season so far!
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    So the defeat to QPR who were top of the table at the time I can cope with but the Derby defeat is so frustrating. What you can’t see here is that it was 0-0 on 70 minutes when I made 3 attacking changes to try and win the game. 4 minutes later and the FM curse that strikes every time you make 3 subs bites especially hard when my keeper is carried off. We then concede all 4 goals in the last 10 minutes! Gutted doesn’t even come close to it.
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    At least it didn’t completely destroy morale and we did manage to pick up 2 draws and a win after that game. So we average a point a game in October which in the days of fighting relegation I’d be fairly pleased with but really need to improve this if we are to trouble the upper echelons of the division.

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