December got us all into a great mood and we had a very good month going unbeaten in the league, I think part of this was mainly because Samara my wife had spent more time Christmas shopping and I had more time to concentrate on devising tactics and different drills on the training pitch. We have now moved to using a 4-2-3-1 that can become a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3
We knew we had 2 home matches coming up so I made sure we focused on defense as I wanted to make Estadio 25 De Abril a fortress. We won the first match 2-0 against CFO Belenenses with goals coming in the first half from Rafa Sousa and Aldair we held firm and defended tight not giving the opposition a sniff and kept a clean sheet for the first time in 6 matches.
The second home match was against Vit. Guimares B to which we looked like we played a higher division football we outclassed them everywhere on the pitch right from the first whistle winning 3-0, I Gave Carlos Eduardo the nod over Robson due to Robson having been struggling for fitness this week, he repayed me the favour with a goal either side of half-time. Vice Captain Rafa Sousa got the 3rd goal at around the 75th minute with a top quality free-kick from the edge of the area.
Our last match before Christmas was against Maritimo B, it was tight and cagey match with both teams looking like they did not want to get injured for Christmas day, A fine goal from defensive midfielder Sergio Organista was the only goal of the game it had came from a half chance from about 30 yards out leaving the Maritimo keeper stranded. We held out and won 1-0.
Christmas Eve we flew back home to Gloucestershire and stayed with my parents for Christmas Day, it was nice but I was feeling guilty as I missed my team and was really missing Portugal I couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over so we could fly back.
Ou last match of 2012 was in the Taca Da Liga against a very strong Braga team we were drawn in group c for the third phase of this cup. Things couldn’t have started any worse and I thought we would be on a hiding to nothing when Maria Lucas scored in the fourth minute but we held firm and did ourselves proud and managed to get an equaliser in the 78th minute from Nuno Dias, we looked like we going to hold on for a very impressive 1-1 draw but Carlao managed to get SC Brage a winner in the first minute of injury time. But all in all a 2-1 loss away to Braga is very good and we left with our heads held high.
We find ourselves now after a very good month 10th in La Segunda Divisao only 7 points off a promotion place long may our form continue. I even managed to win Manager Of The Month for December my first ever award in football I am proud of how far I have come in the last 12 months.
In other club news we have managed to sign former Liverpool and Aston Villa left back Gregory Vignal on a free transfer he joins On 1st January 2013
For New Year Samara and I thought it would be nice to venture into Lisbon the celebrations were fantastic and we had an amazing night.
Samara on the balcony of the hotel in Lisbon