We go in this season on the back of winning League 2! The confidence is high and the boys are still buzzing going in to pre-season. This season I would be happy to avoid going straight back down and finish around mid table. Bring in some additions and we will be ready for the season. Now let’s see the new signings and begin our pre-season.
We have brought in four players. A couple were already agreed during the later part of last season. I am particularly pleased in bringing McLaughlin to the club as he seems to be already at the standard we are looking for now we are in a harder league.
The board have the same expectations as me by not wanting to be in or around the relegation zone. I’m not expecting us to do anything special this season. As I have said anything better than being relegated is the main objective but mid table is what we really want and anything better is a nice added bonus..
Another season with another set of hard pre-season games. I don’t mind to much about the scores as long as the boys get match fit and are prepared for the season and get to know the tactics we use. The first couple of friendlies I usually field two separate teams for 45 minutes and then begin to play the team that will be used throughout the season. If any of the reserves/youth players impress then they will get their chance.
Auchinleck – Away – Friendly
A good win to kick off our pre-season against a smaller opposition. A comfortable win for us in which we controlled the game from start to finish.
St. Johnstone – Home – Friendly
A result I expected but we also looked really poor in this game. We struggled to create anything and only had 3 shots all game. We did well to convert two of our chances but they looked a class above.
We get drawn at home to Morton in the first round of the League Cup. I believe we got them in the same cup last season. I hope we can get through to the next round but I feel Morton will beat us.
The draw puts us up against Livingston from the Championship. It would be nice to get past these and progress but again I can’t see us getting any further.
Coventry City – Home – Friemdly
A game in which we really should of won as they couldn’t take their chances until the final minutes. We had most of the ball but didn’t do much with it. Disappointed to draw to them.
As I have said before I have had interviews with clubs in the lower leagues of England. Nothing ever comes of them until this…
Crawley came back to me with an offer to be their manager. They are now in the Vanarama National and have been for the past couple of seasons. I sat and thought about if I should leave what I am doing here to do it all over again at another club. I must of sat for at least an hour debating if it is the right move. I looked at their history, players, finances etc.. just to try and see if it would fit me and they way I work. I liked the thought of joining them and getting a better chance of progressing here or somewhere else. Would I do it sooner at Crawley than what I would here at Queen’s Park. Is Crawly a side ways move? A backwards move? Only time would tell I guess.
I took the job. We have now left Scotland and moved back to England where we join Crawly. I felt that they are one of the bigger clubs in this league and that we would’t be in this league for long or at least I’m hoping we won’t be.
I have joined them when they are literally down to the bones. Not enough players meaning shady players are making up the numbers currently. They have no staff and and junior coaching or youth recruitment which is terrible for a team that should be in at least League 2. As you can see they have been declining in the last few seasons and I hope I can turn that round and build these back up and move up the leagues.
I will continue to use these tactics. I will maybe add a 4231 or 442 tactic if we can work it round the players.
There are some big teams in this league this year with the likes of Northampton, Newport County and Morecambe looking to go back up. Then you have the veterans of this level with the likes of Forest Green, Gateshead, Tranmere, Wrexham who will not be easy teams to get points from.
The board are hoping we can finish at least in the play-offs is a tough ask with currently only about 8 players in the team. We have room to move with our transfer budget so expect to see plenty of signings this window. For now I will look to bring in squad players to bulk out the team and then will look to improve positions where needed.
We have brought in 15 players so far. Some you may already know from our time up north. Some may never play for the club if we bring in better players. I’m fairly happy with the players we have brought in. It gives us a stronger chance of finishing where we are expected. I have brought in players to be squad players for now but may become first choice.
I joined after they had drew to Tonbridge and only had one other friendly to play. I added some more games against smaller teams as I felt it would help us with the new players that would/have join the club to learn our tactics and get the confidence high.
Eastbourne – Away – Friendly
I didn’t know what to expect from our first friendly under us. We went in with a slim squad and not enough players to fill the bench. How we didn’t win this is beyond me, we battered them and they had their chances and took them. Happy overall with the amount of chances we created.
Rushden & Diamonds – Home – Friendly
A good win for us. A couple of new signings played in this game and they had decent games. A comfortable win for us.
Guiseley – Away – Friendly
An easy win against Guiseley who in fact turned us down when we applied for the job. A dominant performance from us this game. We have looked good in all the games so far.
Farsley – Home – Friendly
We got the win in what was a pretty even game against Farsley. Happy with the performance and to get a positive result from a tough pre-season game.
Leatherhead – Home – Friendly
We got the win in our final pre-season game. We looked comfortable until they got one back it seemed to knock our confidence which I hadn’t seen before but we seen the game out.
Happy with how our pre-season went. Only losing to Eastbourne which was a pretty freak result. Looked good in all the games which is probably expected against them kind of teams.
Upcoming Games/The Season Ahead….
I feel that we can fight for the play-offs with the team we have now built with all the new additions. We still lack quality and experience in some positions but we will bring in the right additions for this squad. If we can get out of the league this season then I will be happy but I am prepared to be in this league next season to fight for the title with a much stronger squad of players who have an extra year of this league behind them. I will be bringing more players in but as I say only if they fit in to what we want at this club. It will be a long and hard season this season with the quality of clubs in this league. I am pleased with pre-season and the boys look ready for the first game of the season against Torquay which won’t be an easy game.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying the blog!