The Hunt for Promotion
FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON, OXFORD UNITED AT HOME, ANTICIPATION IS HIGH, ALL EYES ON MY SUNDERLAND MANAGERIAL DEBUT… 0-0. Things you hate to see. Agreed this wasn’t the start I was hoping for but we managed to rally together for the rest of the month as we come away with 9 points out of 12.
4 wins in 5 games lifted spirits in the camp and also put us top of the league! Collected the Manager of the Month award as well, which was nice.
My birth month. 3 wins out of 4, 10 points on the board and flying high at the top of the league! Scenes.
The month of Ws. 3 wins out of 3 in the league and a special mention to Will Grigg, who bagged 7 in those 3 matches. Theres a song in my head that may come to mind… Will Grigg’s on fire, your defence is terrified.
Always a tough month and this is where I would advice any FM novices to use their squad and rotate. Granted I only managed to pick up 7 points out of a possible 15 but trust me, SQUAD ROTATION IS KEY.
Another tough month for the boys, knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton, losing on pens in the Northern Quarter Final of the Leasing Cup and winning just 3 out of 6 games the gap at the top was getting tighter.
The January transfer window is probably one of the hardest parts of the season. Good players get snapped up by bigger clubs, signing new players may upset the apple cart and other sides at the top may strengthen in the push for promotion. Be careful in this window and buy/sell your player wisely.
Martin Onoabhagbe – Dartford (Free)
Lynden Gooch – Vancouver (£500,000)
Joel Lynch – Colorado (£170,000)
Kyle Lafferty – Molde (£163,000)
Anthony Patterson – Huddersfield (£76,000)
Jack Newman – Barnsley (£65,000)
Back to business. Lost the first game of the month to promotion hopefuls Portsmouth really spurred the lads on and we managed to go the rest of the month unbeaten gaining 11 points out of 15 in the process.
Boring month if i’m honest. 2 games, 2 wins job done.
CHAMPIONS! The title was secured away to AFC Wimbledon with a 2-1 victory at home, 4 games before the end of the season. WHAT A SEASON!
George Dobson. What a man. What a player. 42 appearances throughout the season, 8 goals and 7 assists the ball winning midfielder was a key part to my side and I would suggest anyone that needs a work-horse in midfield, buy Dobson.
Jordan Willis. I am actually surprised with him because initially he didn’t get a sniff at first team football, but Tommy Smith got injured and up stepped Willis. Pacey, good positional awareness and consistent. Very good centre back at this level.
Will Grigg. Bags man and some would say the Northern Irish Ronaldo. 29 goals in 40 games the numbers really do the talking. I will be surprised if he will make the step up into the Championship but he can certainly score goals at this level.
An all round excellent season with highs in the league and lows in the cup competitions but onwards and upwards, now to conquer the Championship!
I was greeted with another surprised before the end of the season. Local business man Chris Dunphy (some call him the northern Bill Gates) Successfully completed his takeover at Sunderland. More money in the division above and also time to get some top quality coaches on board!
Follow the saga and stay alert for part three in the Championship next season! Leave a comment if you are trying this challenge yourself and let us know of any success stories with the Black Cats.
Until next time.
Completed Football Manager, so I write about it now. Sports Journalism graduate & East London’s answer to Cattermole.