Last 8 fixtures

As mentioned in the previous post I’ve taken over the save in a real world update, So we find ourselves just outside the relegation zone by 1 point with just 8 games to play. In this post I’m going to go through the 8 games and discuss how I approached the unique situation.

8 games, 4 home and 4 away. I know every manager wants to have a tactical identity, But with just 8 games, no knowledge of the players at the club. I’m going to rely on my reports and analysts and react to the opposition until we land on something that feels like it suits. Hopefully stay up then we can implement our identity next season.

Game 1

Our first game is against Birmingham, the team directly below us. So it was vital to not lose. A draw would be ok as we would still have the one point buffer between us and them.

The scout report says they will play with a fluid 433, with their full backs tucking inside. In possession they will create a 343. I looked at the squad and decided to go with this formation.

My thought process behind the narrow 442. We have two slow strong strikers. With them having a back 3 in possession I want our strikers to pin them back, when we win the ball their HB will step back into midfield hopefully leaving us 2 on 2 upfront. Because of this I wanted us to be direct. The deep box was due to their IWBs coming inside to counter their midfield box. This would hopefully mean the game would be won by the space on the wings so I selected both players to be wing backs. In a mid block I wanted speed on the transition.

We came out of the blocks and dominated quite early on with a few chances and Willock put us 1-0 up with a nice volley from a knock down from Frey. We tired late on and I think my lack of knowledge with the players didn’t help with some changes but we let them back in the game as it finished 1-1.
A draw isn’t the end of the world.

Game 2

15th place Swansea lined up in an attacking 343. After the result from the last game I decided to stay in the same formation.

I think the formation worked. Swansea totally dominated the game but struggled to break our natural low block down.

Game 3

Sheffield Wednesday were next up a massive game as a win here could give us some breathing room.

After the last game and some fitness issues I switched to 1 4141 for this game. I wanted to add some pace to the side as we are so slow going forward. And certainly something we have to address.

The pace worked. We just couldn’t create and finish enough to have 10 shots and a way better xG than them is disappointing. It also leaves us in trouble with staying up.

Game 4

Another crucial game here vs Plymouth who were around us in the league

They lined up in a 343. With the way pace suited us last game I wanted to lean on to that.

Armstrong is by far our most mobile striker, at 6ft he is string and physical too. So I put him in the side.

This is hard. As all the stats say we were the better side. We just couldn’t put the chances away. Thats two games back to back now. Its also 6 points dropped and we now look in trouble.

Game 5

Playoff hopefuls Hull are in town with a very strong attack.

We have gone with experience in this match. At this point we need a result. We have lined up in the same 4141 to give us a natural low block and spring counters from.

What a result and my first win in charge at QPR. We sat deep and broke on them time and time again. We are starting to see a bit of an identity form for this side.

Game 6

Another playoff hopeful now another back 5 which we seemed to struggled against a bit more.

A crazy 8 goal thriller in which we came back from 3-1 down to win 5-3!! They totally dominated us for 80 minutes then we scored 4 in 12 minutes to win!

Game 7

2 games to go, we need 3 points to stay up. We have Leeds the champions and 6th place Coventry. So not an easy ask.

Leeds showed us why they are champions as they blew us away. At 3-2 I thought we might have a chance but then they just scored 2 quick goals to end our hopes. And that leaves us with a massive final game.

Game 8

We go into the game having to win. Depending on results a draw might not be enough. And its against a back 5.

We went with the experience to help us here. Hoping we can grab a win to keep us up.

We went 1-0 down after 16 minutes. And it was a bit shaky as we were in the relegation zone. Chair grabbed a quick equaliser and we were still going down. Straight after half time we scored and we were staying up as long as we could hold on. 82nd minute Isaac Hayden put us 3-1 up and the party started. Frey then made sure moments later! QPR ARE SAFE!

We stayed up on the final day. In the end a draw would have been enough by 1 point. Now the real work starts. We need to dive into the squad and start putting the foundations in place on and off the pitch.



  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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