Tactical guides FM21

Tips to end a losing streak

Len Nov 9, 2020 Last modified: 19 Oct 5,924 views

This guide will give you some tips on how to end a losing streak in Football Manager.

Morale in Football Manager is on of the hardest thing to control. It is not a secret that a lot of FM-players are struggling to understand the morale ladder of the game and how this affects results. This guide will help you understand what is morale, why it drops and how you can give it a boost to make sure your results will improve.

What is morale?

Morale is an indicator of the player’s current mood and mindset. The higher the morale, the more likely the player is to perform well. It is your job as a manager to keep the morale of your squad as high as possible during a season.

However, your team will be complacent when the morale is too high for too long. This makes players over-confident, thinking that they only have to show up in order to win matches. As a manager it is your duty to find the perfect balance between praising and criticising your players during a season.

Personality

The personality of a player determines the way a player reacts in different situations. In Football Manager there are 36 different personalities, which either can be positive, neutral or negative.

For example a player with an Ambitious personality will always work hard to try and make the most out of his career.

But there are also players who have a Slack personality (Newgens only as no real player has a negative personality set). These players have almost no Determination and have a low Professionalism. If you ever have one of these players in your squad: get rid of them ASAP, they will only give you trouble. Ideally all your players should have a Determined or Professional Personality.

Causes of morale drop

Even squads with a lot of Ambitious Personalities have their moments when morale could drop to a low point. For example your squad can get overconfident after a series of good results and then get complacent expecting the next victory will come automatically.

Or it can happen after a couple of bad results or declining form. And last but not least Morale Drops can be caused by individual players.

Some examples for Individual Morale Drops:

  • Results aren't good
  • Player has been playing poorly
  • Player dislikes training
  • Player dislikes teammate
  • Player wants a better contract
  • Player wants more playtime
  • Player wants to move to a bigger club
  • Player thinks the club is underachieving

Boosting morale

There are some easy and simple ways to boost the morale of your players in Football Manager.

Conversations

The best and easiest way to boost a players morale is by having a private conversation with him. You can give a player praise for his conduct, his training or match performances and that will boost his morale. The best thing about these conversations is that you can have more than one talk with every player.

That way you can praise your captain for his conduct, then praise him for his training level and praise his current match form. If you apply this at the correct time, you can get his morale from Ok to Superb!

Trigger them

But a conversation can also be used to trigger players who seem a bit overconfident. If a player has a great form and scores goals like crazy, he could get a little complacent (you can check if a player is overconfident before match at your assistants feedback section). By giving him a negative feedback in a personal conversation, you can make him determined to prove you are wrong. Therefore; he will play his best in the next match.

Team meeting

To boost the Morale of your entire squad you can use the Team Meeting function in FM. It is very effective after a couple of bad results. This way you can tell the entire squad to get their heads up and keep on fighting. But you can also tell them to keep it up when you have a couple of good results in a row. And last but not least; you can trigger your squad by being very critical after a bad result.

NOTE: Be careful though with planning too many Team Meetings. Too much Meetings will irritate your players, making the Team Meeting ineffective.

Press conferences

Did a player make a mistake or did your team have a bad performance? I know you would want to burn that player or your team to the ground. But be smart and stay positive. There is no reason for you to lash out in public, so why risk the Morale Drop? Be positive, give players a compliment, even though sometimes it is hard to stay positive. If you want to be negative; talk to the player in private, it’s more effective.

Morale & matches

By the time you are playing matches, motivating your team is the most important job you have as a manager. It is also a very difficult job, as you do not get that many information about the behavior of your squad. When applying team talks your only job is to ‘out-motivate’ your opponent, meaning your team will have to be more motivated that your opponent. Easier said then done.

Pregame

Which Team Talk you choose before a match depends on a few things. You have to consider the status of your own team, the status of the opponent and your current form. Keep these things in mind and then decide when picking Team Talks:

  • You are the favorite – Expect more of your team (I expect a Win)
  • Teams are equal – Try to Challenge them (Assertive; Show me what you can do!)
  • You are the Underdog – Talk down Expectations (There is no Pressure or Good Luck)

Half time

Your job at half time is quite simple; your teams motivation and morale needs to be higher than your opponents motivation and morale. This is a rather difficult thing to do, as you don’t know what the opposing manager is doing in the dressing room.

But choosing the wrong Team Talk at half time could be the difference between winning or losing a game. Just keep in mind that your main job is to Motivate your team, so if you are in front; tell them not to get complacent or when in front by a small margin tell them you expect more and get mad if you are behind.

Post game

The team talk after a match is mostly important for the days after the match working towards your next match. The thing you do not want to do is drop morale by picking the wrong team talk. So keep in mind that you have to make sure that morale stays high.

That means; be smart and do not get mad at them, especially if you lose an away match against an opponent of an equal or a higher status than your own. Of course there are situations you could be aggressive, but do not push your luck. The dressing room could turn against you and in Football Manager, that could mean you get sacked.

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