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Everton - The School of Science, it's on its way back!

Started on 19 February 2016 by guster73
Latest Reply on 22 February 2016 by guster73
guster73's avatar Group guster73
7 yearsEdited

Hey guys, decided to have a go at doing this, and I’ve chosen to do so with the team I support, Everton, a top-four-calibre team that is struggling to stay in the top ten right now. My aims are to well and truly revive the School of Science by playing attractive football and investing in youth, get Everton into the top four, and get them challenging for the title. Two things, I edited the injuries to reflect the start of preseason, because many of the injuries at the start of the game were sustained either during preseason or the season itself in real life. Also I’ve disabled the summer transfer window, so no moves until January. Each of my posts going forward will consist of monthly recaps with results and other news.

I generally don’t tend to spend a lot of money, which is useful when Everton manager for the first season or two. When I do spend, I have an unwritten rule of not buying anyone over the age of 25, as I like to get a good few years out of my signings and have a young squad with good physical stats. I prefer to buy British players, but only if the price is right, otherwise I’ll buy from abroad. With that said, I prefer to promote from within wherever possible, and I dedicate a good amount of money and time to nurturing my youth players. Fortunately for me, a lot of players in the Everton under-21s and under-18s have first-team potential, so expect to see the likes of Ryan Ledson, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate etc. in the future. I hate selling my star players, unless I have no choice, and I’ll endeavour to keep the ‘big four’ of Gerard Deulofeu, John Stones, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley at the club.

I basically live and die by the 4-2-3-1, which is perfect for Everton. Regardless of where we’re playing, I'll have them playing at a quick tempo and to press the opposition extensively. At home, against most teams I'll play attacking football and give the players creative freedom, assuming a fluid team shape and letting the likes of Barkley, Deulofeu and Mirallas express themselves, and I'll encourage them to run at the defence to make the most of their dribbling abilities. I'll instruct my players to play out of defence and retain possession, but in a quick, decisive manner. With Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman as my wing-backs, and Deulofeu and Mirallas as my wingers, I'll look to exploit the flanks, and set Baines and Coleman to get forward to put crosses into the box. Away from home, knowing how playing away games can be on FM, I’ll be more disciplined, and play on the counter. When I’m playing the big teams at home, I'll adopt my away tactics, and when I play the big teams away, I'll set the team to play with a defensive mentality and structured shape, to try to keep them at bay and nick a goal or two.

This is my first-choice starting XI for the season. I’ve edited the injuries because a lot of the injuries that my players had at the start of the game occurred either during preseason or the season itself in real life, so as of the first day of preseason, it’s just Aiden McGeady and Darron Gibson who are injured. Ever-so slightly favouring Tim Howard over Joel Robles in goal for now (although if this was real life it would be a different story), and I’ve chosen to deploy James McCarthy as my deep-lying playmaker, which is usually Gareth Barry’s role, but he’s getting old and his physical stats aren’t as good as that of McCarthy and Mohamed Besic. I chose Besic over Tom Cleverley in the other midfield role for his superior defensive ability, and just because I adore him. The rest of the team picks itself.

Alright, let's do this. COYB!
Really nice start, looking forward to what this story has to offer. :)

We played five friendlies this month. Here are the results:

I would have liked a more convincing victory over the under-21s, but I appreciate that it was our first game playing with my tactics. The Los Angeles, Vancouver and Southport games were more encouraging. Quick but patient passing, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman bombing down the wings at wingback and getting crosses in, and plenty of pressing the opposition. Conor McAleny scored a lovely goal against Vancouver, dribbling into the box from the left wing before placing a lovely shot in the top right corner, and Leandro Rodríguez scored a brilliant twenty-five-yard effort against Southport. They’ve both got my attention. The Marseille game was the big test of preseason, but I went into it with low expectations, since it’s only preseason and as a result the lads aren’t completely motivated, so I’m not worried. We were the better team in the second half after conceding both goals in the first. We have one more friendly on the 3rd August, against Columbus. I'll field my second-string XI and give them seventy minutes or so to get their match sharpness up, then it will be time for the season to begin!

It was a busy month on the contract front, with Bryan Oviedo and Steven Naismith signing new deals to keep them at the club until 2018. With Brendan Galloway being very capable at left-back (although I see his future at centre-back), and Luke Garbutt returning from his loan at Fulham next season, left-back is a position of strength for me right now. Naismith is brilliant cover for both Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, he can step in and do a good job either in the number 10 role or up front. Glad to have him.

In the under-21s, goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek, left-back Antonee Robinson, midfielder Conor Grant and striker Sam Byrne all signed extensions to keep them at Goodison Park until 2017. Stanek could be a future back-up, Robinson has great pace, has good technique for his age, and can either play at wing-back or winger, so I’m giving him a further year to see how he develops. Grant could do with improving his first touch, but he’s a good passer and tackler and has impressive mental stats. I could definitely see him being a useful squad player. Byrne has good physical stats, brilliant workrate and determination, and is a tidy finisher, so he could well have a future here.

Also, young wingers Michael Donohue and Nathan Holland signed their first professional contracts, both until 2017. Donohue is already a solid passer and crosser with a bit of pace on him, and Holland has pretty good dribbling ability and great workrate, which I like.

Barkley twisted his ankle in the Vancouver game, so he’s been unavailable since then. If he’s available for the Southampton game, which is still an if at this point, it certainly won’t be at full fitness. Naismith picked up a thigh strain against Southport, but he should be just about ready for Southampton, and could see himself starting.

I’ve shaken things up in the backroom. I've retained Graeme Jones as assistant manager, Inaki Bergara as goalkeeping coach, and Duncan Ferguson as a general coach, but letting the rest of my first-team coaches go. I’ve carefully replaced them with better coaches, including former players like Jonathan Greening and Paul Scholes, in order to improve specialisation in training. I’ve also done some moving around with my under-18s staff, promoting John Doolan to under-21s assistant manager and Paul Bennett to under-18s assistant manager in order to clear some room for new coaches, and because they're better equipped for their new roles than as coaches. I hired Blackburn under-18s manager David Lowe and Huddersfield under-18s assistant manager Leigh Bromby, again to improve specialisation in training. I’ll make a request to the board to increase the number of under-18s coaches I’m allowed as soon as I can, because the quality of training isn’t where I want it to be yet, and I need more coaches.

We’ve established a link with Peterborough United, who will now be an affiliate club to us. One problem that I’ve encountered in the past is that when I offer young players to clubs on loan, the clubs who respond just aren’t good enough, so this partnership will be highly beneficial.

We’ve been linked with Bordeaux striker Diego Rolan and Sao Paulo attacking midfielder Ganso this month, which came out of no where. They’re both very good players, but they’re out of our price range at the moment, and I’m perfectly happy with my current front four right now.

As for potential departures, Burnley are apparently looking at Tyias Browning, and Manchester City have been linked with John Stones. Browning is good cover at centre-back and right-back so he has a part to play this season, but with Galloway, Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate and Matthew Pennington also waiting in the wings, I have a lot of young, versatile defenders, so I would consider any offers made for Tyias. As for Stones, forget about it. He’s not going anywhere.

My next post will recap the month of August. COYB!

In our last friendly of preseason, we drew 2-2 away to Columbus Crew. Not important, so just a quick note about it. This game was only about getting the rest of my squad match-sharp, so I wasn’t worried about the result. Conor McAleny scored both goals, impressing me again, although right now I’m still leaning towards loaning him out to a Championship club.

Ross Barkley wasn’t ready for this one after his twisted ankle in preseason, so I left him out of the squad and started Steven Naismith, who was fully fit in time. Southampton started well, and Tim Howard had to make a good save early on from a Sadio Mané effort, but we took the lead in the twentieth minute when Gerard Deulofeu slotted home from a Leighton Baines cross across the face of goal. We scored again two minutes later when John Stones cut out a Victor Wanyama pass at the halfway line and played it through first-time to a wide open Romelu Lukaku, who kept his composure and placed it in the bottom left corner. Southampton pulled one back in the twenty-ninth minute, quickly getting the ball up the field after we went close on goal, and Graziano Pellé’s header met Cédric’s cross from the right byline to make it 2-1. We restored our two-goal cushion in the thirty-first minute, all thanks to the Man of the Match, Seamus Coleman, who intercepted a James Ward-Prowse pass, played a one-two with Kevin Mirallas, took it down the right wing and crossed the ball in, Lukaku heading it in from the edge of the six-yard box. Southampton started the second half the better team, but we added a fourth when Baines’ corner was met by Phil Jagielka, who played it back to Mirallas for him to slot the ball home. Southampton hit the post late on, but it came to nothing, and the game finished 4-1, which I was absolutely delighted with. Playing at Goodison is going to be a lot of fun this year.

Barkley started this game, but his lack of match-sharpness was obvious, and he had a quiet outing before being replaced by Naismith after seventy minutes. Overall, a pretty dull affair compared to the Southampton match, as reflected in the match stats below. We took the lead in the twentieth minute when Deulofeu headed home from a cross from Coleman, who was Man of the Match again, but Watford equalised five minutes later when Troy Deeney slotted home a cross from the edge of the six-yard box, basically running in between Jagielka and Stones to get on the end of it, which I wasn’t happy with. That was their only shot on target all day. I’ll take the point, I guess.

Our side was unchanged from the Watford game for this one, so refer to the above formation.

It took us a little while to get going, but we took the lead in the thirtieth minute when Deulofeu got on the end of a low Baines cross across the edge of the six-yard box. Very similar to Deulofeu’s opener, Lukaku tapped home a Baines cross in the fifty-fifth minute to make it 2-0. Baines made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the fifty-eighth minute after Philipp Wollscheid brought down Deulofeu just inside the penalty area. Geri is in RIDICULOUS form right now. Things got even worse for Wollscheid in the seventy-ninth minute when he tried to deal with Baines’ cross and the ball ended up in the back of the net. Unsurprisingly, Baines was Man of the Match, with three assists and a goal to his name. Only negative is that Mirallas suffered some bruised ribs, making him questionable to start against Manchester United next week. Apart from that, a perfect day, with another dominant home performance, and we allowed no shots on target for Stoke, which was very impressive. Baines and Coleman are killing it with their crossing so far this season.

As you can see, a weakened team for this one. Easy match in which we dominated, Aaron Lennon made the most of his opportunity and got a goal and an assist to his name. A Russ Penn own goal and a Steven Pienaar strike were the other two goals. Kieran Dowell, Leandro Rodríguez and Ryan Ledson all got runouts as substitutes. Matthew Pennington and McAleny were on the bench too, but didn't see the field. Dowell and Ledson have very bright futures, and I’m hoping Rodríguez proves to be a solid option at striker too. Wasn’t thrilled about conceding in this game, but all that matters is that we’re through. We’ve got Middlesbrough at home in the next round, so I’ll field a slightly stronger team than I did today, but I’m confident.

Mirallas’ bruised ribs that he picked up against Stoke meant that he was only fit enough to make the bench for this one, and Lennon started in his place. United opened the scoring in the third minute after Anthony Martial’s effort hit the post and the ball fell to the feet of Juan Mata, who had an open goal to tap the ball into. Lucky, right? Thankfully, Barkley equalised in the thirty-eighth minute in a much more deserving fashion, capping off a beautiful counter attack, started off by a crunching tackle on Antonio Valencia by James McCarthy, who laid it off to Baines, and then to Muhamed Besic, who played a long ball to Lukaku on the halfway line. Rom played a 1-2 with Deulofeu, who made a lovely run into space to receive the ball from the Belgian again, and Geri played it first time to Barkley on the penalty spot, who took a touch before placing it in the bottom left corner. Demonstrating one of my pet peeves about FM and football in general, Chris Smalling headed home from a corner right before halftime to make it 2-1 to the hosts. Lennon got his head on the end of a Baines free kick in the fifty-fifth minute to make it 2-2 though, repaying my faith in him by starting him over Mirallas. To my surprise, we took the lead in the seventy-third minute; Howard caught a Valencia cross, booted it upfield, and Barkley got on the end of it and played it back to McCarthy on the halfway line. McCarthy passed it short to Deulofeu, who played another short pass to Lukaku, before Rom put the ball in a really tight window on the edge of the box for Barkley to get on the end of it and place it in the right corner. We went ultra-defensive after that, and we held on to win! Part of me is glad they went 2-1 right before halftime, because I was able to give the lads some extra motivation with my teamtalk telling them to sort it out. Good to see Barkley is off and running for the season too after a quiet first two games. He’s match-sharp now, and he played like the diamond that he is today.

Unfortunately I've gone a game forward and forgot to screenshot the league table (sorry, I'm new at this, I'll remember next month!), but I can tell you that we finished August at the top of the table with 10 points from our first four games, thanks to our superior goal difference to Chelsea and Tottenham. And yet, José Mourinho won Manager of the Month. Makes sense.

Irish winger Steven Kinsella signed his first professional contract on his seventeenth birthday, keeping him at the club until 2017. Kinsella already has good dribbling, first touch and technique for his age, great workrate and teamwork, and a bit of pace. He'll definitely be a fixture in my team in the future.

Aiden McGeady continued his comeback from a torn hamstring as he played for the Everton under-21s. I'll most likely look to offload McGeady and his 50,000-a-week wages in January, we have enough options on the wings, but he'll be handy to have around until then.

Gareth Barry picked up a groin strain a few days before the Southampton game, so he didn't figure in the Southampton, Watford and Stoke games, but he returned against York. Only a bench player for me, but he’s good to bring on when I want to protect a lead and sit someone in front of the defence.

Chelsea and Manchester United are both interested in signing Coleman, but I have no intention of selling him.

Centre-back Brendan Galloway joined Hull City on loan for a month. Aston Villa, Leicester City, Newcastle and West Brom all made offers to take him on loan for the season, but I turned them down because he would only be cover for the first team there. Galloway will get game time at the KC, and I'm sure Hull will be open to extending his stay there.

Valencia have been linked with a move for Besic. I love Momo to the moon and back, so not happening.

So, that's August! So far, so good. COYB!
Great results so far, the United result being the pick of the bunch of course, great layout as well.
2016-02-20 13:18#226380 AliciaWAFC : Great results so far, the United result being the pick of the bunch of course, great layout as well.
Thanks, yeah I wasn't expecting a win there, hate playing away from home especially at the big teams, so absolutely chuffed with that result! Glad you like it :)
Love the format of this! Great result at Utd too. KIU

Unchanged side from the Manchester United game. With Aaron Lennon’s performances against York City and United, I decided to keep him in over Kevin Mirallas. We took the lead in the thirty-fifth minute when John Stones won a header on the halfway line from a Sunderland goal kick, Muhamed Besic picked it up, played a one-two with Lennon, and passed it to Ross Barkley, who only needed one touch before turning and playing it in for - who else - Gerard Deulofeu on the edge of the box to coolly slot it home. Sunderland equalised on the brink of halftime when Phil Jagielka stopped a Jermain Defoe run with a beautiful sliding tackle, but the ball fell to the feet of Sebastian Larsson, who took it to the byline, played it across the face of goal, and Adam Johnson (no comment), escaping from Seamus Coleman, tapped it in on the far post. We started the second half well, although we almost let Johnson get a second goal, but we retook the lead when Leighton Baines’ cross was headed away, but the ball fell back to Baines, who in turn headed it to Lennon, who took a touch before unleashing a lovely half-volley into the bottom-left corner. Sunderland didn’t really threaten us after that, and we could have added a few more goals, but it was not to be. I expected a more comfortable victory after how our first two home games went, but it’s three points nonetheless, and I’m happy that Lennon repaid my faith in him by scoring the winner.

Unchanged again. We fell behind when Saido Berahino volleyed across his body first time from a Salomón Rondón cross from the right flank, but we equalised from the kickoff, spraying a handful of passes around before Coleman crossed it in, and Romelu Lukaku let it drop to his feet for him to place it in the corner. In the twenty-sixth minute we were again burned by a cross from the right to Berahino, James Morrison the provider this time. Berahino took a touch on the penalty spot to take it away from John Stones and James McCarthy before putting a low, powerful effort past Tim Howard. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when West Brom went 3-1 up, Morrison again crossing from the right, and Berahino again getting on the end of it, this time with his head. Stones really should have dealt with it better. Again we responded immediately from the kickoff though, as Baines picked up a clearance from a Coleman cross on the left and whipped it in, and it rebounded off Jonny Evans and landed at the feet of Barkley, who hit it first time and scored. We were much better defensively to start the second half, and we got our equaliser when a Baines corner was cleared to Barkley on the edge of the box, and Ross played it back to Baines, who crossed it in again from just inside the penalty box, and Lukaku volleyed it in. We took the lead when Besic intercepted a Darren Fletcher pass before it could find Claudio Yacob and laid it off to Barkley, who played it first time to Lennon, and Lennon took it into the box, past Chris Brunt, and smashed it in the top right corner. He’s making it really tough to drop him right now, four games in a row he’s scored in! Most of the action was in their half from then until our fifth goal, when a Coleman cross from the right was met by the head of Lukaku for his hattrick. I went defensive after that, and West Brom finished the match on the front foot, but thankfully we escaped The Hawthorns with the points! Absolutely wild game.

Five changes from the West Brom game, but a strong team out there nonetheless. We went ahead in the fifth minute when Steven Naismith placed a perfectly-weighted lob into the box and Mirallas took a touch before half-volleying it in. Our play wasn’t particularly inspiring after that, and Bryan Oviedo didn’t help matters by getting sent off in the sixty-ninth minute, at which point I had to sacrifice Naismith for Stones and move Ramiro Funes Mori to left-back because I didn’t pack Baines on the bench. Middlesbrough didn’t put us under as much pressure as I thought they would after the sending-off though, and Lukaku finally came alive after a quiet day when he headed in Lennon’s cross in the eighty-seventh minute to put the game to bed. I expected a more dominant performance, even with the changes I made, but we’re through. We’ve been drawn away to Man United in the fourth round, which isn’t ideal. We’ve already won there this season, so we’ll see.

I decided to reward Mirallas for his goal in midweek by starting him over Lennon. Our first goal came after some extended pressure on our part, as Besic sprayed it out left with the outside of his boot for Baines, who took it forward before crossing it low across the six-yard box, and Barkley got on the end of it to make it 1-0. Two minutes later, McCarthy won a big tackle and the ball fell to Barkley, who played it out to Mirallas on the wing, and he crossed it in for Lukaku to slot it home to make it 2-0. Tottenham looked more likely than us to score from that point until the end of the game, frequenting the final third, but yet they only had one shot on target. I love clean sheets, especially when they come against the big teams, so this was a brilliant result all round.

We finished September still top of the table, two points clear of Manchester City. Barkley was Player of the Month, with two goals and two assists in three games for an average rating of 8.57, and I got the Manager of the Month award this time!

Midfielder Beni Baningime, winger Daniel Bramall and attacking midfielder Antony Evans signed their first professional contracts, until 2018. Not many of Baningime's stats jump out of the screen at the moment, but he could develop into a decent ball-winning midfielder. Bramall isn't as good of a winger as fellow youngster Steven Kinsella right now, but he has great workrate, and his crossing, dribbling and technique should enter the 10's soon. Evans, like Kieran Dowell, is an exciting prospect at the number 10 position.

Steven Pienaar has told me he intends to see out his contract and leave on a free transfer after this season. Not going to lose any sleep over it, Steven.

Aiden McGeady suffered a strained stomach muscle on international duty, ruling him out for 5-6 weeks and further delaying his first-team return. We're healthy in the winger department at the moment, so I can afford to wait.

Centre-back Matthew Pennington joined Huddersfield Town on loan for a month. Planning to involve Pennington in the first team next season, but regular Championship football is good for him for now.

Midfielder Conor Grant joined Peterborough United on loan for three months. Starting to make the most of our link with them. Grant is another one who could push for involvement in the first team next year.

Midfielder Ryan Ledson joined Bristol City on loan for a month. Extremely pleased that a Championship team has taken Ledson on, given that he's only 18. Really exciting prospect.

Winger Conor McAleny joined Brentford on loan for a month. Impressed me in preseason, but there’s not room for him in the first team at the moment.

Striker Sam Byrne joined Port Vale on loan for a month. I had a few offers from League 2 teams, but that’s not a high enough level for a twenty-year-old striker.

Another good month. COYB!
What a nice set of results so far. Keep it up. Lots of goals for Lukaku is a bonus, its always easier when he starts performing like we know he can.

Echoing the other comments, really nice format.
Still top and going strong! Really well done :)
Thanks guys :)

Another big test at home, this time the champions, with no changes made to the side. We had a really good chance early on that we should have taken; John Stones made an interception on the halfway line and played through Romelu Lukaku for a one-on-one, but Thibaut Courtois managed to make a save. That was the only real chance of the first half, to be honest. Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead in the fifty-third minute though, after a poor Tim Howard free kick fell straight to Oscar, starting a Chelsea attack which culminated in a lovely lob from Oscar that fell just outside the six-yard box for Hazard to half-volley it in. Diego Costa headed in from a corner two minutes later to make it 2-0, another hallmark of FM that bothers me to no end. Lukaku scored in the ninetieth minute after volleying home a Seamus Coleman cross, making the scoreline look a little less bad, but we couldn’t do anything in the two minutes of injury time. Our first loss of the season, and with that, we dropped to second.

One change to the team, with Aaron Lennon coming back in as Kevin Mirallas dropped to the bench after an uninspiring game against Chelsea. Lennon was disappointing today compared to his previous outings though, so Mirallas came on for the last fifteen minutes and gave the game a shot in the arm, hitting the post, and having a goal ruled out offside. Norwich were more of a handful than I expected them to be, but two points were dropped here for sure. Our shooting wasn't good enough today.

I was planning on starting Mirallas anyway after his impact in the Norwich game, but since Gerard Deulofeu was ruled out for this game with food poisoning, it didn’t come at Lennon’s expense. We had an early scare when Crystal Palace hit the crossbar in 23rd minute, and had me fearing that the Chelsea and Norwich results were going to end up affecting our fine home form, but my fears were calmed when the diamond that is Ross Barkley gave us the lead by slotting home a low Leighton Baines cross. Our second goal was counter-attacking at its finest, with a James McCarthy clearance from our own six-yard box finding Lukaku, who played through Lennon to take a shot, which was saved, but Mirallas tapped home the rebound. Lukaku made it three in the fifty-seventh minute by intercepting a headed ball, galloping into the box and placing it in the bottom right corner. Worth noting that Aiden McGeady made his first appearance of the season, replacing Mirallas in the seventy-third minute. Good to be back on track.

No Deulofeu again unfortunately, as he wasn’t fully fit following his bout of food poisoning, and few changes elsewhere too, with it being the cup. We conceded softly in the fifteenth minute, when Phil Jones got his head on the end of a Juan Mata free kick, which Joel Robles saved, but Jones was allowed another stab at it despite McCarthy and Mirallas being close by, and slotted the rebound home. Memphis Depay finished us off with a second goal in injury time, when we throwing everyone forward in a desperate attempt to equalise, so 2-0 is slightly deceiving. Only bright spot of the day was Darron Gibson returning to the fold with an appearance off the bench. Unfortunate to be out of the cup, but we were dealt a tough hand with a trip to Old Trafford. Hopefully the FA Cup brings better results.

Having Deulofeu back for this game was a boost. First half was played at a frantic pace, with plenty of chances at both ends, so it was a surprise that we went in at halftime with the game scoreless. That was quickly taken care of at the start of the second half by Leicester though, as Baines and Phil Jagielka merely watched as Marc Albrighton guided a pass past them and Jamie Vardy raced onto the end of it to place the ball in the top left corner. We took a much more attacking mentality after that, and it finally paid off in the eighty-first minute when Barkley took down a long pass from Howard and sprayed the ball out to Lennon, who had replaced Mirallas in the seventy-first minute, on the wing, who crossed it to the far post where Deulofeu guided it into the back of the net. In the eighty-fifth minute, Deulofeu controlled a lovely lob from McCarthy and returned the favour from a few minutes before, crossing the ball into the six-yard box where Lennon volleyed it home to give us the lead. We shut up shop after that, and held on for a victory which I didn’t think was likely until the last ten minutes. It was good to see Geri showing his early-season form again.

No league table again I’m afraid, accidentally deleted my screenshot of it when clearing out some files, but we finished October second in the table, one point behind Manchester City and one ahead of Tottenham in third.

Midfielder Ryan Harrington signed his first professional contract, signing on until 2018. The coach report on him isn’t great, but he already has good passing and first touch, and the mental aspect of his game looks encouraging for the future, so I’m happy to let him continue to develop here.

No significant injuries picked up this month, and Gibson and McGeady returned to the side, so a good month in that respect.

Brendan Galloway (Hull City), Matthew Pennington (Huddersfield Town), Ryan Ledson (Bristol City) and Sam Byrne (Port Vale) all had their loans extended until January at my request, which is pleasing. One month just isn’t enough.

The board allowed me to hire an extra under-18s coach, so we’ve appointed Exeter’s under-18s manager Lee Skyrme, because we needed a coach who specialises in ball control. Thanks, Bill.

So, that's October. November to be posted soon! COYB.

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