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Derby County guide for FM15

An extensive guide for Derby County. With this guide hopefully you will be able to take Derby County back to the top flight and revel in former glories.

By on Dec 11, 2014   17126 views   3 comments
Team Guides - Derby County guide for FM15
Derby County Football Club


Derby County, the very name rings bells of a fantastic history of top flight glory and trophies. Although now been stuck in the Championship for almost 6 years having last won a major trophy since the 1970's Derby are a team o the rise. With this guide you will be able to take Derby County back to the top flight and revel in former glories. Will you reach the top flight or will you rot in the championship for eternity that is up to you so I am here to make sure you get the best out of Derby County Football Club.

Derby County Football Club Overview

Name: Derby County Football Club
Founded: 5th, Febuary 1884 - 130 Years Ago by William Morley
Stadium: Ipro Stadium (33,500)
Owners: GSE Group & Mel Morris
Chairman: Andrew Appelby
League: Sky Bet Championship


When you start with Derby County you will be given a £2,000,000 Transfer Budget along with a 15k per week wage budget with the expectation to finish in the top half. However if you think you can do better than improve your season expectations going for a promotion will get you 2.2m along with 20k wages per week and if your super ambitious then go for the Title Challenge which will give you 2.3m along with a 29k wage budget.

Season Expectations

Your minimum expectations for the season is to perform well so below is the minimum expectation list for the first season.

Sky Bet Championship: Minimum Top Half Finish (Varies on Season Expectation Choice)

Capital One Cup: Minimum Finish 3rd Round

F.A Cup: Minimum Finish 3rd Round

Best Tactics


The 4-3-2-1 is deployed as the standard back four along with 3 central midfielders, 2 wingers and a lone Striker upfront.

This is by far the best tactic to use as it gives you stability going forward but also allows you to retreat back in an instant. When using this tactic you should apply an attacking style of play with fluid mentality as this will allow you to gain the best advantage going forward. On the instruction side of things I would definitely consider adding these 3 options in Much higher Defensive Line, Close Down Much More & Higher Tempo. Those instructions will allow you to be strong in defensive while being able to attack at fast pace causing the opposition trouble.

4-5-1 Flat Out

The 4-5-1 is my favourite tactic in FM 15 s not only does it look good on paper it works out on the pitch too. Using the 4-5-1 you will have the standard 4 at the back and then applying 3 central midfielders who will be accompanied by a right midfielder and a left midfielder, the lone striker will sit up front on his own.

Using the 4-5-1 allows you to be able to switch between attacking & defending in an instant, having 5 midfielders allows you to go forward in numbers but also retreat in numbers which will strangle the game in the middle allowing you to control the game form the center of the park. This tactic needs to be changed every 20 mins or so during a game as you want to start the game attacking for the first 25 mins then control for the last 20 mins, hopefully by then you will have established a lead. When you approach the second half and there has still been no score then go attacking until you score once you have scored sit back put it on control and see the game out. Its up to you too choose what instructions to use but a high defensive line, high tempo and closing down is always a good option.

Starting XI Analysis


Now when choosing a goalkeeper there is only one option and that is the main man in the sticks Lee Grant. Derby are short on goalkeeping talent for the 1st team although you do have potential in Mats Morch & Kelle Roos but if I was you I would stick with Lee Grant or even perhaps bring in someone else.

Right Backs

The right back position is a fight between Kieron Freeman & Cyrus Christie. Christie should be your first choice but Freeman isn't a bad option either as he is full of promise and can really turn a game around. Christie does improve well after a season or 2 and can be your reliable right back.

Central Defenders

The central defense position is contested for by a lot of players but personally I would stick with Keogh & Shotton. Keogh and Shotton make a great defensive duo and will work that back line for the whole 90 mins controlling the back four and making it harder for attackers to sneak through. Although you have other rotational options such as Zak Whitbread, Jake Buxton & Josh Lelan.

Left Backs

There is only one option for the left back position and that is Craig Forsyth, although Forsyth is a good player I would recommend bringing in a left back or a loanee to cover his position as he may get injured. Other than that there isn't much else to say about this position so I'll leave it there.

Defensive Midfielders

In the DM department you have options such as John Eustace and Omar Mascarell these 2 can really control game but in my honest opinion I wouldn't use the defensive midfielder role unless you really have too.

Right Midfielders/Wingers

On the right hand side there isn't a player who can play it perfectly but you can use Johhny Russell. Johhny Russell can play well if he is playing the right winger role or the right midfielder role either way he plays great there and he should be your number one right side player. Other than that you can use Jordan Ibe as a back up right winger but he isn't so great in the right midfield role.

Central Midfielders

Now you have some competition for the central midfield 3 but your main three should line up as Jeff Hendrick, Will Hughes & Craig Bryson allowing Omar Mascarell and Eustace to be your back ups and it wouldn't be all that bad if you signed a decent central midfielder to be a better back up rather than Eustace.

Left Midfielders/Wingers

With the left midfield/winger role you have to options really and that's Jamie Ward & Jordan Ibe, personally I would choose Jamie Ward for both the midfield & winger role and just switch Ibe with him as a sub if your using the 4-3-2-1 other than that Jamie is a great player and will help you out a lot.

Attacking Midfielders

Personally I wouldn't use an attacking midfielder but if you do choose this option then use Will Hughes as he can play that role really well, you also have Simon Dawkins as a back up just in case Hughes picks up a injury.

Center Forwards

There is no doubt about it that when it comes to strikers you have to go with Chris Martin. Chris will be a major part of your team as he can score goals and get into those positions that frustrate the opposition. You also have Leon Best as a back up but I would recommend terminating his loan and bringing in a much better back up striker as the most important factor of the season is to score goals. I would recommend a good League 1 player or a championship player as a back up to Martin.


Derby's weakness in Football Manager is that there good players like Hughes can cause a dressing room stir up this is because when a large team shows interest in them they want to leave and if you reject it they will kick off and start a revolt against you. It's your job to keep the dressing room under control show no weakness only authority and the players will respect you, if you come across one of these situations then good luck my brother because once you annoy them all it can ruin your season completely.

Youth Academy

Derby County are well known for producing some great talent and have the best Youth Facility in the championship. If you are planning a long term save then the youth academy will serve you very well as you will produce some top notch regens that will keep your squad young and healthy. Every year try and bring in better coaches especially former footballers so when players like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retire try and bring them in as coaches as there experience will help the young ones a great deal.


To summarize Derby County are one of the greatest teams in the Championship and are a good team to manage, it is a great challenge to do what Brian Clough did and if you can emulate that then you are one of the greatest ever to manage 'The Rams' I hope you enjoy taking Derby to that next level and I'm always glad to hear how well people are doing with them.

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About OMGItsToddzy

My name is Keiran Caville and im a 16 year old sports enthusiast, football is my life, my passion and i hold a strong bond and emotion with the game, ask me for anything and ill try my best to give you what you want im a gentle soul with a dark mind.

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Discussion: Derby County guide for FM15

3 comments have been posted so far.

  • Xshoter's avatar
    And Mascarell improved a lot and I just signed Chris Solly for upcoming BPL pretty cheaply for around 1,2M
  • Xshoter's avatar
    Hey, thanks for the guide, I had Derby save but never got into it and this helped me a bit here and there or to say assured in tactics etc.

    I won Championship point ahead Fulham in last round. That tactic with 3 MCs, two wingers as Inside Forwards Attack worked very well for me. Only thing was that J.Ward was often out of form but I had Jesse Lingard on loan and he improved a lot and scored in almost every match.. well he had some downs too but them Ward finally produced something and by the end of the year he played better than Lingard.

    And I suggest everyone to sing cheaply for around 600k Jesus Vallejo from Zaragoza, he improves quickly and works really good with Keogh or Shotton. Also Salva Ruiz on loan served me well in Championship but didnt improved significantly.

    J.Russell had a good year, that was crucial along with Martin who scored 30 goals. But I have trouble to find replacement for Martin or backup good as him.

    Only truble is Hughes wants to leave if Soton bids in. But they just fired Koeman so I hope their interest will pass soon. Also Russell and Hendrick wanted to leave but I they stayed loyal when insterest passed.
  • jordan51's avatar
    Hi great team guide what League 1 striker would you recommend?
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