Welcome back to The Surprise Shirt Challenge. If you are new to this series you can catch up from the beginning Here.
When we finished the last episode we were half way through our first season in Charge.
We found ourselves within touching distance of the top 2 and automatic promotion after a poor run of form saw us fall away from top of the league.
We will need to see an upturn in form if we are to secure automatic promotion.
January Transfer Window
I decided to be very selective with any improvements to the squad as there wasn't much wiggle room in the budget at all.
We needed some depth at left wing back as at 36 years old Van Hintum is struggling to play week in week out.
Jayden Candelaria joins us on loan from Feyenoord until the end of the season.
With his dynamic pace he will be able to offer something different from the more steady Van Hintum.
This proves to be our only signing of the window.
The first action of 2023 sees us attempt to turn around the indifferent for of November and December.
More indifference sadly, we cant seem to string a sequence of results together. Its got to change soon or we are going to throw away any chances we have of returning to the top tier.
February sees the kindest run of fixtures we have had in a while with all of our opponents languishing in the lower half of the league. A real chance to get out of this slump.
Finally a run of results to get us back on track. The front two getting back amongst the goals is a huge boost as we enter the run in to the end of the season.
March is a busy month with 5 league games to get through, as well as the youth intake, which is where we will start.
Lets check out the elite and top talents.
Hendri Wonerengga is the pick of the bunch according to early scout reports.
The base attributes are there and with a spirited personality there is every chance he can reach those predicted levels.
Nico Van Der Zee is very close behind Wonerengga in the list of top youth talents.
His driven personality will keep him right on the same path too, we could be looking at the future midfield duo in a few years!
Steven Van Den Dungen is another one high up the potential list.
Although no natural in any of the positions in the current system, some retraining could definitely see to that.
After the excitement of some good new talents its time to get back to league action.
We have had an absolute shocker, After a half decent start we go on a run of four games without scoring a goal. This could be the nail in the coffin of our automatic promotion hopes.
We are going to need a small miracle.
This could be the end of our season right here. We need an almost perfect month to stand any chance of staying in the automatic promotion hunt. The Key game of the month being against Dordrecht, who sit in 2nd place in the league.
BACK ON TRACK. The draw is a slight disappointment but we have put ourselves right back in with a chance. That 2-0 victory over Dordrecht was absolutely VITAL.
This is it, we need to be perfect this month to be in with any chance of finishing in the top 2. We may need other results to swing our way too.
Here we go.
Well we weren't perfect but was it enough?
YES IT WAS. It was too and frow between Dordrecht and ourselves, and they suffered a defeat in May to see us sneak into the top 2 on goal difference. Fairy tale stuff.
Final league Table.
We have snuck in by the skin of or nose. Especially considering how well we started. Anyway, the main objective of the season is complete and now its time to start preparing for our return to the Eredivisie.
I will leave you as always with the season review. Keep and eye open for Ngom's final stats. He had one hell of a season.
Why not check out our first save of FM23 as we take over at Crystal Palace. We have concluded this save but you can start from the beginning here.