Revival of the Robins
'A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are.'
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
My nerves were calmed somewhat by the stern and straight talking Chairman, Keith Dawe. Often criticised among press and fans alike, Mr. Dawe was key to the financial and structural make-up of Bristol City FC. He was often scapegoated despite his investment of time and money often matching that of the Directors, Steve and Jon Lansdown as well as Erine Arathoon.
"We're here this evening to announce the appointment of the young man sitting alongside me, Alex Neistat, as the new Manager of Bristol City FC." Mr. Dawe bellowed, "After lengthy discussions with several candidates, we felt Alex had the correct skill set, philosophy and attitude to lead the club out of the relegation zone and onto better things. I, among with the Directors, would like to welcome Alex to the club in what we hope will be a successful period. Despite Alex's lack of managerial experience, we were mightly impressed with his vision for the club and his knowledge of the game."
Mr. Dawe was right - for the role I was starting, I was young and inexperienced. Having just turned 26 years old, I had never experienced first-team management. Much of my time in football had Sunderland AFC at it's nucleus as a youth manager and then first-team coach. I was spoken of in high regard, but even I wasn't expecting a chance at management at such a young age.
I was being unveiled almost immediately after an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Preston North End, a team who were promoted from League One last season with Bristol City, yet were doing considerably better in the current campaign with a 13 point gap between the teams. Assistant John Pemberton and Under 21 Manager Wade Elliott had taken temporary charge. Despite the victory, my new employers remained in the bottom 3, although by a meagre 2 points.
It wasn't hard to work out why the team was struggling in the Championship. 46 goals against meant we were joint second for the most goals conceded and 23 goals for was also joint second for least goals scored. It was obvious the team was struggling at both ends of the pitch and it was now my job to get the team firing again.
Oh, and if that job wasn't hard enough, we hosted top of the table Middlesbrough in 4 days' time. I best get to work.
Disclaimer: I've started the save and subsequent story in January for added realism. I have used an in-game editor to make the table the exact same at the time of starting the save, which was Wednesday. For the purposes of the story, former Manager Steve Cotterill left the club a week earlier that in reality.