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Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.
Season 3, Episode 35
With our late surge of form, we’ve given ourselves a chance at finishing in the top 4.
We sit 5 points adrift with 8 games to go. It is doable, as long as we believe. We’re in hot scoring form at the moment, more so than any other time in managerial career. Thirteen goals in the last two matches saw surge into the Quarter Final of the Europa League and the FA Cup Semi Final.
We have an incredible chance to come away with two trophies this season, but we have to continue to play as a unit. Stick to the game plan.
Leeds United (15th) vs Wolves (5th)
2/4/2022 Premier League
We travel to Leeds in our first game of the monster April month. This Leeds side employ two ex Wolves players – Rafa Mir and Helder Costa.
Helder Costa’s transfer was already in place when I arrived, while I sold Rafa Mir because I had 4 other strikers ahead of him in the pecking order. I didn’t foresee him doing so well mind you. He’s netted 13 goals in 29 appearances in the league. Let’s hope we’re able to stop him.
A tough afternoon for us as Leeds United gave us a good game. We managed to come out on top after our wing-backs combined to net the winner.
Unfortunately Neves twisted his ankle and will be out for 3 weeks.
Wolves vs Bayer Leverkusen
7/4/2022 Europa League Quarter Final 1st Leg
We take on Bayner Leverkusen at home in the first leg. A chance for us to show them we really mean business.
Last time out in the competition we ran away 8-2 winners on aggregate. I’d like to see more of the same.
I asked for more and I got more. We were fantastic, again. It was a shame to concede an away goal, but I’m more than happy with the final result. Cutrone has been in fantastic form of late while Josa Lima also continues to impress.
He has a “fickle” personalty, which has recently changed from a “mercenary”. I hope this changes again over time. He is working closely with a mentoring group. He’s done exceptionally well for a young kid who doesn’t speak English. I think that says a lot about how much raw talent he has.
Wolves (5th) vs Spurs (6th)
10/4/2022 Premier League
Fellow Europa League Quarter Finalists Spurs sit 6 points behind us while we also have a game in hand over them.
We need the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United to drop points.
Just before our 3pm kick-off, Chelsea played Crystal Palace and lost 3-1. It’s imperative we take advantage of this!
What a performance. Although we conceded most of the possession in the game, we were happy to as we wanted to play the patient game.
We fluidly hit Spurs on the counter, twice, with Vinagre and Fernandes getting late goals (84th and 88th minute).
We close the gap on Chelsea to just two points. The race is on!
Bayner Leverkusen (1) vs Wolves (4)
13/4/2022 Europa League Quarter Final 2nd Leg
Just 3 days later we face Leverkusen again in the 2nd leg. I’m inclined to rotate here as we have a sizeable lead, and we face Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi Final in another 3 days.
The games are coming thick and fast.
Another terrific performance from the boys today. A slightly rotated side still did the business. However, we come away with a few disappointments.
Early on, Jonny had to be hauled off with an injury and is now out for 3-5 weeks with a hamstring strain, while Jota took a knock and I thought it would also be best to bring him off. We cannot afford any more injuries right now.
Donny van de Beek saw himself pick up two silly yellow cards and will miss the semi-final first leg.
A 7-1 victory over two legs and I’m sure Leverkusen will love to see the back of us. We face Monaco in the semi-final while Athletic Club (who were in our group for the competition, face Spurs).
Wolves vs Chelsea
16/4/2022 FA Cup Semi-final
The semi-final of the FA Cup is upon us. The boys are hungry and excited to get the match underway.
There’s added incentive here as beating Chelsea here could potentially derail their end of season and help us pip them to 4th place in the league.
They will be without Tammy Abraham, but star man Timo Werner is their key player, who has 20 goals in 30 games in the league.
Our star man on the other hand, Neves, is still recovering from an injury and won’t feature.
We are on fire at the moment. Another incredible performance. Arguably the best I’ve overseen as Wolves manager.
The first 10 minutes were all Chelsea, so we switched immediately to a cautious approach and from then on we turned on the style.
Every player was exceptional today. They truly were out to prove a point, and that they did.
Manchester United beat Everton 3-1 in the other Semi-final. It’s going to be a tough match, that’s for sure, but we head to Wembley again!
Watford (13th) vs Wolves (5th)
19/4/2022 Premier League
We have no room to drop points. We sit 5 points behind Chelsea, but with a game in hand. The fixture schedule is all over the place at the moment, with the Europa League and FA Cup still in the mix.
Not the most convincing win, but we got the job done nonetheless. We’re unbeaten in 15 matches now. By far our biggest streak during my managerial rein.
Haaland did pick up an injury during the match which is a huge blow. Another twisted ankle, and he will be out for 3-4 weeks. Jota or Neto will have to step up in his absence.
Wolves (5th) vs Huddersfield (20th)
22/4/2022 Premier League
We host Huddersfield next who are practically down and out. They sit 10 points away from safety and a loss to us will decide their fate.
The top 6 league table currently looks like this;
Manchester United have played themselves into a situation where they could lose a Champions League spot. Our win against them a few weeks ago proved to be very vital.
Right now, each game feels like a cup final.
Another win, which jots itself down into the history books as we break our consecutive wins record.
Jimenez had a bitter-sweet day to remember. He managed to score against his old team-mates totally against the run of play then shortly into the second half saw red and took an early bath.
With that defeat, Huddersfield are officially relegated. I will be keeping a close eye on my good friend, Jimenez, to see if he makes a move this summer. He’s too good for the Championship.
I sat watching the Spurs vs United game mid-afternoon, hoping the Londoners would do us a favour. They had every chance to, with Wan-Bissaka getting sent off so early, but it wasn’t meant to be. We still trail both United and Chelsea by 2 points with four games to go.
Wolves (5th) vs Stoke (17th)
25/4/2022 Premier League
In no way can we treat this game lightly. Stoke are battling to stay in the Premier League – they will come at us fighting.
AS Monaco are just around the corner but I will still be fielding a strong side against Stoke.
We went a goal down early on, but I’m proud of how we stuck together and continued on with the game plan.
It took us a while to get back into the game, but once we did, there was no stopping us. Jota was sensational today – completely running the game almost single-handedly. Neto came off the bench to also grab a brace. I’m in such a lucky position right now that I can rely on all my strikers when called upon.
Wolves vs Monaco
28/4/2022 Europa League Semi Final 1st Leg
The players are rested, and we’re raring to go. Monaco have been fantastic of late in Ligue 1 and see themselves 2nd.
We play without Haaland, Jonny and the suspended Donny van de Beek. But other than that, we have a full squad. Neves returns to the bench but isn’t quite ready to start, yet.
Jota put in another masterclass of a performance in Haaland’s absence. That’s 6 goals in 3 matches for him.
Monaco grew into the game as it went on but I’m disappointed we didn’t take more chances.
We go into the 2nd leg with a 2-1 lead, but we must be aware of Monaco’s away goal. We are all too familiar with how important they can be.
This win helps us continue our consecutive win record, which now stands at 12.
Elsewhere, Spurs beat Athletic Club 3-1 away from home, giving the Basque team a huge uphill battle in their 2nd leg tie.
Manchester United and Liverpool played this evening also. A chance for us to keep hold of our 4th spot.
Liverpool have done us a huge favour, and ironically, it was a Brazilian lad named Everton who sealed the win for them.
The Form of Our Lives
We’re currently in the form of our lives. Unbeaten in 18 and on a 12 win streak. The lads have been unstoppable.
It’s quire remarkable just how good of a run we’re on now. We’ve propelled ourselves into having a chance of sealing a 4th spot, while also possibly getting to the final of the Europa League.
Our morale is superb. We are working like a well oiled machine. Not a single player in the squad is unhappy. We all have a collective goal.
Next month may prove to be one of the biggest in Wolves’ history.
Liverpool are on course to win their 3rd consecutive title while 4th place is currently ours to lose. Manchester United and Chelsea have a far superior goal difference, so we truly cannot afford any more dropped points.
It may even come down to the wire as we take on Liverpool away from home. But we can’t dwell on that. We have to treat every game as a cup final from now until the end of the season.
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