All you need to know to end a losing streak in Football Manager

Learn what to do when your FM team just decides to play terribly and prevent similar occurrences from happening by employing these techniques.

There’s nothing worse than starting a bad run in Football Manager.

You want to end it by grabbing a few wins, but how can achieve that when everything seems to be falling apart?

Well, start using your brain and stop blaming Miles Jacobson!

Potential causes

When your team’s going through a bad run, you must first identify its causes. By identifying the reasons behind it you’ve already sorted half of the problem.

Then it’s just a matter of avoiding repeating those mistakes and trying to boost your team’s morale. I’ll signal out the most common reasons that can cause form drops, using a couple of scenarios:

Scenario #1: My team was playing well, morale was high, but suddenly we started losing.

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  • You praised your players a lot in press conferences and used inefficient team talks, which lead to complacency;
  • You rotated quite a few key members of the starting 11 (because of fatigue, injuries or promises made to a player);
  • You had a sequence of fixtures where you faced very strong opponents and things went from bad to worse;
  • You used one or more unsuitable players for your tactics and ruined the flow of your gameplay;
  • You didn’t realise the team’s morale had gotten slightly lower and you didn’t bother to try boosting it.

You can’t completely avoid bad runs!

However, you can delay their appearance and reduce their duration by constantly monitoring the team’s morale and by doing everything that you can in order to increase it.

Try to identify if any of your players don’t fit in your tactics and don’t just check average ratings, but look for more in-depth indicators and consider watching Comprehensive Match Highlights.

Scenario #2: I couldn’t get my team to start the campaign with high morale, nothing went right from the start.

  • You’ve set up the friendly matches campaign wrongly and didn’t win the last few matches to get your team’s morale sky-high just before the first official match;
  • Your club has too many new players this season (including the ones freshly signed by the club in real life) and the squad just won’t blend fast enough;
  • You’ve set up your squad’s training wrongly and you aren’t using an efficient Tactic;
  • Your players aren’t suitable neither for the Match Engine nor for the Tactics;

You must remember that changing philosophies and developing cohesion and understanding within a squad takes time.

Imagine what often happens when a new manager get’s appointed to a club in real life; it usually takes a while till the players fully gell, understand the new tactics and start performing at their best, if ever…

So don’t expect to fix everything from the beginning of a new spell.

Also, plan your pre-season friendlies wisely and make sure you win the last 3-4 matches before the season starts – you need that morale boost.

Ask yourself these questions

Football Manager 2016 is not as easy as the previous versions. If you haven’t played football manager games for a long time, you will encounter many situations where you will have to learn things the hard way (as we all did).

Experience is an important factor in most disciplines and FM16 is no different. If you still haven’t realised why your team has entered a bad run even after reading the above information, don’t despair!

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I’ve prepared a few questions with the intention of enlightening your bulb:

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  1. Have you designated a penalty taker, and is he a decent taker? (high attributes for Penalty Taking, Finishing and Composure are required for a good taker; fatigue can also affect the quality of the execution)
  2. Have you got a very slow squad or fairly slow players on the flanks?
  3. Is your Goalkeeper any good; did you even bother to check his performances?
  4. Have you checked your own players’ Coach Reports? (maybe someone doesn’t enjoy big matches or they are known for being inconsistent performers – did you know that?)
  5. Did you ignore a player that came to talk with you about a concern he has? (actions like these can disrupt the morale of the entire locker room; the same can happen when a discussion regarding a player’s concern ends badly)
  6. When you notice your team’s morale started to decrease, did you arrange a Team Meeting or did you have private chats with your players to increase their morale?
  7. Have you kept all of your promises? (failing to do so can have catastrophic consequences on your team’s morale)
  8. Did you attempt to force an important player out of the club?
  9. Have you got defenders with very low Concentration attribute? (no wonder you often concede in the first and last 5 minutes of each half)
  10. Is your squad ambitious? Can you say that your players are at least fairly determined? Keeping an unambitious player’s morale high can be a very difficult task.

Take Action

After having made the necessary changes you now have to do everything possible to increase your player’s morale:

  • Use private chats, team talks and arrange a team meeting;
  • Try to sneak in a friendly match against a weak opponent if you can find a free date.
  • Start players from the youth squad if their morale is a lot better
  • Start renewing contracts if you’re really desperate
  • Avoid starting players with very poor morale at all cost – even if they are your club’s best athletes.

Still can’t sort it out? Are you tired of losing and being stuck in mediocrity? Do you really want to lead your team to success?

Then, wait no more. Download our FM eBook guides and master the game after only one read!

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,

    In my Arsenal save, I’ve had an amazing season so far and for the majority of the season i was averaging 60% possession and like 4 goals a game and at one point i had 18 goals in 3 games and its just all fallen apart, I’ve lost 3 of my last 4 games and the other one was a hard fought draw against West Brom. I am not 31 games in and although I’m still 10 points ahead of my nearest challenger (Tottenham) because none of the current top 6 are playing that well, I’m still worried that I’ll surrender my lead to Tottenham or Liverpool. I have a feeling it might have something to do with the pressure having got to my players with the prospect of winning the league. I’ve tried team talks, having private chats with the players who are seriously underperforming and even rotating the team slightly to see if a player might have hit a run of good form since I last dropped them but nothing is working. What do I do?

    • 1. Try to increase morale.
      2. Use players that have the highest morale on match day.
      3. If you had an argument with one of your players and they are unhappy, try to solve it if possible, if not, there’s not much you can do…
      4. You can try a new tactic, even if the team won’t be fluid, but just to try and trick the opposition’s scout.
      5. Download https://theraumdeuter.com/fm-16-cant-win-to-champion/ if you haven’t done so already!

      Hope it helps!

        • It happens to me a lot when i win the title for the first time. Is the pressure of it all. Mainly because i let my assistant to have the interviews and he puts a lot of pressure on the players. What i tend to do and works to some extent to me, is that i talk to the players before and during the match and tell them to relax and enjoy the match. That seems to relief some pressure. If that doesen’t work, i will just change the tactic a little and play a bit more defensive. hope it helps.

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