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Poll: Rovers Return

A tale of Redmption....
Started on 14 November 2017 by Dave_Finny
Latest Reply on 1 December 2017 by Dave_Finny
  • POSTS9
  • VIEWS3083
What Will I achieve in season 1 ?? (8 votes)
Here we go

2018 FM has landed

I was torn between many teams.... but with a fondness at heart for Blackburn, I have selected them to push them back up from the doldrums of league one and return them to their premier league status.

I know the Venky's have wrecked them..... but I am going to rid them of this woe.


Young manager David Finlayson Lands in Blackburn with a spring in his step raring to go.
David Finlayson:
Promotion is the key, either via the playoffs or Automatically!

A brash Finlayson addresses the media, with a smile on his face and the real impetus to give Blackburn fans hope

After getting to my office on the first day..... I realise this is a tough task...

  • The squad is average
  • The cash is low
  • The league is tricky with some big names in

I will spend my first day having a quick squad perusal, a review of history, a nosey at the staff and decide where the hell I go from here....

The young man from Barrow has his work cut out, but with my tea brewed and my coat hung up... what can I really do with this rabble ?

More to follow.............
Day 1....


After a sit down and evaluating the Squad, I realise i am missing a bit of firepower up front.

I feel I do have some good players and leader in Mulgrew and Graham, but feel another leader would be required. plus I have the odd injury which I'm not too keen on. - The Squad is quite varied though and 90% cover for most positions fills me with faint optimism

I feel the staff could do with a bit of a rocket up them to keep them on their toes, I won't be sacking them all, just mildy encouraging with a royal kick up their arses in some lovely circa 2002 Adidas Predator Mania's...
just to ensure this transition goes well, I've enlisted the help of this old battle hardened veteran

With big Ray involved in improving my defence and tactical awareness this bunch may go well.

Before I venture in the transfer market, ( Where I will aim to the as shrewd as Harry Redknapp the week before payday) I have found this young gentlemen with a 5 star potential.

Young Joe will be getting a run in pre season and a new 5 year contract to scare away the big clubs, or alternatively if he goes I'll get crazy Phil Jones style money for him.

Righty-ho.... of too the transfer market to find the next Cherno Samba and Freddie Adu..


I have decided to strengthen the squad initially through the spine and aim to add a midfielder, centre half and striker

The striker issue made more prevalent when Danny Graham injures himself in the 1st 20 mins of the pre season game and is out for 5-6 weeks

I rustle up some funds from selling a Phil Jones clause - gaining me another 750k to play with.

After Not being able to find a striker worth going in for (for now) I opt too look on the free and loan markets for a Midfielder and Defender.

Joey Barton would have been a good pick but is a little too banned for now, so I have a Mr Mulumbu who is on a free, but wants too much money...

So after some further digging, I open my summer signing with this dynamo....

Mutch ado about nothing

With a couple more options in the pipeline, and pre season in full flow, I assemble the squad for the pre season camp and off to Austria we go!!

Signings and Schnitzel

Whilst the training camp is underway i manage to secure signing number two.....

Blackburn sign a Caulker

I am massively pleased with this deal as I believe Mr Caulker will be the rock in my defence alongside Charlie Mulgrew.

I Have successfully signed quality in the positions I want - I now just need a striker,

Pre season is going well, - and my results (although a bit hit and miss) allow everyone to get a game and to trial a few formations.

I think i am going to opt with 4-5-1 for the opening game - not my ideal choice, but with my lack of striking options, I will have to go with it.

The squad land back in England, We are prepared, bolstered with 2 good new signings - I have let 3 youngsters go out on loan and I think we are ready to take on league 1 at full tilt........

I Phone Harry Redknapp late at night on the eve of the season to seek some Striker advice......

He tells me to sign Niko Kranjcar...... but I think he's been on the red wine all day......

Here we go

The day is here and we embark upon the season......

The lads seem ready and a solid squad goes up against Southend away.

After a goal less 1st half - three goals come in the second half....

Charlie Mulgrew puts the rovers ahead on 55 minutes!!!

Unfortunately, the other two goals come in the shape of Simon Cox and Amadou Ba (in the bloody 88th minute) to condemn me to a first loss of the season

2-1 Southend

The squad played well and with 17 shots,I was pleased, but only 2 on target still emphasises the striker need for the squad.

Up next are Carlisle in the Carabao Cup.

Finlayson Rotates For League cup Vs Carlisle

I Choose to rotate a lot of the squad for this and treat it very much like an additional friendly for the players needing fitness and time to gel.

A solid 2-0 win with goals from:

- Jordan Mutch
- Dominic Samuel

Carlisle don't have much to offer and Im pleased, Dominic Samuel plays well and rifles plenty of shots on target, I may have a solution to my striking woes ...

My reward for this win is:

Blackburn Vs Leicester

I please the board by reaching the 2nd round, but can't imagine this going any further.

I return back to the office - Fire up the Nespresso machine, bung in a double espresso and look at a strategy for my next two fixtures, against two of Yorkshires big boys

  • Doncaster at home
  • Bradford away

  • I immediately focus training on defending set pieces, return the combative Corey Evans to the squad after injury and decide this first month is going to be very tricky to negotiate.


Solid folk , solid tea and solid defences!!

My games vs Doncaster and Bradford were frustrating and fruitless to an extant – two NO SCOREdraws with not a lot to write home about. – A goal disallowed vs Bradford late on makes the trip back to Lancashire more irritating

Our league position of 16th is not the heady heights I want to be at, and with 2 draws and a loss in the opening three games I feel the Venkys already peering through my office window with some apprehension!

In the two games, I pick up a nasty ankle twist to Jordan Mutch

Which infuriates me immensely – but in turn this will allow Mr Costello to strut his stuff in the league cup Vs Leicester

I set up against Leicester quite conservatively, but bring Craig Conway back into the squad, as with his high levels or flair, speed and creativity, hopefully he can make something happen against the big boys of the premier league.
On the same vein though, I need so start amassing points in the league (and pronto) before the Venky’s decide this Cumbrian needs returning to the fells. So I rotate the correct amount so I have a fully fit fully match ready squad for the upcoming league games Vs MK Dons and Fleetwood

Win …..I actually bloody Win

Leicester were solid and intense – but the guile of Mr Conway (creating an assist), plus an excellent contribution from the full squad – some of whom will definitely being considered for the next league games see me come out triumphant !

This is a key result in many ways:

· It fulfils and surpasses the boards requirements to make the 2nd round of the cup
· Puts all £5000 of prize money back into the coffers ( this immediately spent on a chippy tea for the full squad after this triumph)
· Gives me the opportunity to raise a little more cash when the Draw is made

And As the balls enter the bowl I watch with excitement and anticipation ……..

Neil Ruddock delves into the bowl like a hungry gannet and draws the mighty Blackburn from the pot.

The great hulking frame of Neville Southall Draws my opponents from the bowl and here it it.



An excellent draw!

Home tie Vs Arsenal will ensure a packed house, and Mr Wenger will inevitably bring the U-12’s too so I could possible turn this lot over.

The squad look pleased too, and I return home from Ewood park quite pleased with the evenings work.

The Next League games however become more vital now Vs MK dons and Fleetwood as if I don’t do something here and pick up some points – I might be in the stands watching.

For now though I savour the cup victory and with the transfer window shutting.... I decide I'm happy with the squad and they can get me through to January .....I hope !!

Bank holiday bliss

After the Leicester victory and the great cup draw, we play top of the league MK Dons at home. There is a fizz around training and the guys go into the game with vim and vigour.

MK dons Start well, but playing a 4-5-1 with two ball winners in Evans and Smallwood, and David Jones (another loan signing) as a deep lying playmaker, the team completely boss the midfield
The classy Jones runs the game, but unfortunately decides to take a penalty after Steven Caulker is felled in the box

straight into row Z

Thanks David….

He does however respond with an assist and we go on to a tetchy 2-0 win

We weren’t great but this win catapults us to mid table and I can see the Venky’s disappear from my office window.

Up Next:

Checkatrade Trophy Stoke U’23’s

As the board deem this not of any importance, I rotate the usual amount. Youngsters, squad players and returning injured all fill the starting 11.

Stokes main attacking threat is Peter crouch who I admire as a player, as for a complete coat hanger of a man – he’s done extremely well in his career (Case in point: Mrs. Crouch)
I tell the team to mark Peter closely, to stand on his toes!

The team adhere to my instructions, with Peter being booked after 5 minutes, and dispose of the Potters in a very satisfying 3-1 win

Crouch does however score for Stoke, and I give him some praise in the post-match press conference as I could see this giant becoming a Rover in the Jan window if Stoke continue to let him rot in the reserves. He’s minging, but he can put them away, something I need if I’m going to climb this league ladder

3 wins on the trot, and 4 days off until a game vs Fleetwood at home.

I settle down after the bank holiday on the eve of transfer deadline day with my phone at the ready ……
I decide unless something amazing comes up I will stick with my current squad. I put the feelers out for Crouch and Kenny Miller, both old and knackered but both proven.

Stoke tell me to go away promptly and Kenny Miller wants far too much money. I offer to batter and deep fry the money for Kenny but he deems it not enough to hop over Hadrian’s wall and down to Lancashire.

Fleetwood S-macs

Transfer deadline day passes at Ewood park with very little excitement and this is the summary of the rovers ins and outs.

I’m quite pleased although my pining for a striker continues….

The small run of 3 games unbeaten with 6 scored and 1 conceded has come at a premium though to the squad….

This means I go into the home league tie Vs Fleetwood with zero team spine, aside from the lone vertebrae that is Steven Caulker.

I go from spineless to jellyfish like and concede 3 goals within 30 mins and end up on the wrong side of a 0-4 home humping

I go Berzerk on a similar scale to John Sitton and in no uncertain terms vent my fury …. enjoy

The squad all seem “fired up” after this rollocking, but nevertheless, I cancel the rest day after the game and get these clowns on defensive training, pronto!

I feel a complete husk of the man I was prior to kick off, but I need to get my focus back on the task at hand

The next three league games are:

Rochdale (A)
Scunthorpe (A)
AFC Wimbledon (H)

Then its Arsenal in the cup.

I tell the lads to forget the cup game and focus on three big league games - We need to pick up points in these and I hope Fleetwood was just a blip

Consistently Inconsistent

After the debacle against Fleetwood we aim to regroup against Rochdale away - They sit in 20th place, but positions 20-14 are separated only by 4 points, so they Will be a tough opponent

I set the team up very balanced - with them being fragile I tell them to “retain possession” and I am not to concede any early goals live V Fleetwood

The game pans out well, and although very dull, we get back on the horse with a 2-1

The goals coming from:
Marcus Antonsson
Elliot Bennet

On the balance of play we probable merit the win, but a goal from Matty Done didn’t do the nerves any favours and I spend considerable time post-match letting the players know they are capable of great things if we just stick together

Rochdale's boss Keith Hill tries to get under my skin post-match saying we were lucky. I let him know he’s an absolute joke and he hasn’t got a clue …………………. Then scarper quick sharp onto the team coach

Training in the week goes well and I only focus on tactics and teamwork before the fixture against Scunthorpe Away.

Another tricky away fixture, but I am buoyed by the return of Craig Conway from injury. – He is promptly returned to the left wing

I set up4-5-1 with 2 ball winners and a trialling of David Jones as an advanced playmaker, it is not ideal for my attacking potency I am aiming to repeat my controlling performance from the previous weeks and sneak a goal and Escape from the East coast with a win.

1. Controlling - dictionary Definition - determine the behaviour or supervise the running of.

Someone did not tell this to Corey Evans!!!

His “behaviour” goes out of the window, Evans flies in 2 footed in the 1st half and my 4-5-1 very rapidly becomes 4-4-1

We baton down the hatches and prepare for the onslaught in the 2nd half from the iron!

Ironically the iron was the only thing not thrown at the Blackburn goal

We Escape with a joyous 0-0

I am very pleased in the circumstances

I decide not to appeal Mr. Evans red card, as it was a shocker !

We invite AFC Wimbledon to Ewood park next.

For the run up to this I focus the team on attacking preparation and go into the game with this set up - Wimbledon are 22nd and I feel I could go in for the kill

We start excellently and progress to getting better – Dispatching of the former crazy gang 3-0

Craig Conway
David Jones
Marcus Antonsson

7 points from the last games which included 2 away fixtures and a 10 man battering sees me climb to the dizzy heights.

Just as I feel a bit more calm with the situation I receive word.

Blackburn V Arsenal

We’re on the TV vs Arsenal now !!

I immediately resume training with Ray Wilkins on defending – and with this match being on TV , I book a colonic and a haircut too!!

Bring it on Arsene

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