Being well aware of the fact that I would be facing one of the hardest tasks CM can offer I started a new
game with Shrewsbury. I’d often read how hard it is to be successful with them but I also was very
confident in myself as I (without being arrogant) believe that I can bring success to EVERY team in CM. Now
I just had to prove it !!!
The season kicked off with some low budget -or free transfers and some unspectacular sales. The biggest
deal I reached was the sale of my best player Ian Jenkins to Ipswich for 1 million pounds one week before
my first match.
My aims for the season was set: position 23 would be good result as just the 24th is relegated. However
it’s just not my style to finish a season that way as I’m always looking for maximum success
but in this case the odds really seemed to be against me.
The first games went exactly the way I don’t wanted them to be and after 7 matches I just had
selected 6 points (1 win, 3 draws, 3 losses). However that was about the time to change something. I chose
a new tactic and also gave some other players their first team chance. Most of these players were signed on
frees and now more and more showed what they can do and results got better and better and with about 15
games into the season I was on a more or less comfortable 14th position.
Having some transfer funds left I now brought in two new striker: Grazioli from Swindon for 50k (he
hadn’t played a single game the whole season for them) and former Charlton backup-striker Steve Jones
for 20k. From now on these two formed my striking partnership and that finally was the vital decision to
turn my season around …
While Jones soon established himself as a good assist-striker Grazioli banged the goals in from all angles
and after 35 matches I reached a play-off spot for the first time of the year. Just 11 games to go and even
automic promotion seemed not totally out of reach.
Well, the next matches my team slumped a bit but a late turn up in form gave us a top-5 finish and the
chance to make history via the playoffs. However from now on I rejected to put any pressure on my team as
the season already had been a major shock in the positive way. Seeming predestined to relegation and
finally finishing 5th … no use to complain though.
In the playoff-semis I had to take on Barnet and after drawing 1-1 away I crashed them 3-0 at home and now
went on to a heartbeating-promotion-decider at Old Trafford vs. Brighton. The game was tied 1-1 till the
92nd minute and extratime seemed to be on my way as their topstriker made the breakthrough, struck the
ball at goal, scored and won the match and promotion for Brighton. At first I was a little damaged but not
for long. It was a wonderful year and I hope we’ll be up there again next term.