I’m halfway through season one in my six season quest to get into the Champions League. If you missed part one, you can read it here.
I’m going to give half seasons updates so this will end up in a 12-part mini-series.
So, after assessing the 27 players I had at my disposal, I opted for a 4-1-2-1-2 formation or 442 diamond for simplicity. We didn’t have any natural right wingers, which is something I will look to address in January. For now, Gardner and Bryne are assigned that position.
The start of the season started well and we hit the joint top spot with Cambridge within the first three games. We did get knocked out of the EFL cup on penalties to Swindon, but my aim is promotion so I wasn’t to bothered. We were scoring, winning and conceding only twice in the first seven games.
Then September hit and a draw against our toughest opponents to date would see Latics draw the next seven matches, conceding and scoring only two goals in that time.
We were creating chances, but none of the strikers could find the back of the net enough
We’d dropped to fourth, and with morale dipping, I saw the Checkatrade Trophy round two match as a chance to shake things up!
I made 11 changes, some tactical tinkering and a formation shuffle to 4-1-3-2. I gave the fringe and youth players that game they needed to prove themselves – again we drew but won the penalty shootout out 3-1.
It stopped the draws, although we did lose the next match. I had found a new midfield pairing of Maouche and Missilou over Baxter and Fane. Maouche would go on to bag three goals in his next six games, with three man of the match performances to boot.
After that loss, we went nine games unbeaten and qualified for the Area final of the Checkatrade with a 2-0 win over Crewe.
We remain in fourth, two points behind third-placed Grimsby and 11 points off top spot at the start of the winter window.
Iversen has been indispensable, I’ll definitely be looking at trying to extend his loan or try and tie him up for longer come to the end of the season. We have lost our leading goalscorer Lang back to Wigan but Duffus has returned back to the club.
Our youth academy is growing and looking like we have a few gems there already ready for the first team.
It’s the first of January and I’ll be assessing the squad in full, I definitely need firepower bringing in as we’re the lowest scorers in the league, and if we are to go up this season, goals are what is going to be the difference as our defence is solid.