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Match Preparation Training

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Main Focus

The match training focus that you select from the Main Focus drop-down determines what your players will work on in addition to tactic preparation before each match. An alternative focus to be used instead of the main focus can be set for the match preparation training that takes place before any particular match in the next three weeks using the relevant drop-down on the training calendar.

Match training focuses do not affect the time spent on match preparation training or general training, and they do not affect training workloads.

The focuses and their effects are as follows:

  • Match Tactics – Your players will spend extra time preparing your loaded tactics and so tactic familiarity will increase more quickly. The effect of this focus is cumulative as it will cause tactic familiarity to increase until it reaches 100%. It is recommended that you use this as you main, and ideally only, focus when tactic familiarity levels are not yet fluid for your main tactic, while it can also be useful when building up tactic familiarity for your alternative tactics.
  • Teamwork – Your players will spend time improving their team cohesion on the pitch and so team cohesion will improve more quickly. The effect of this focus is cumulative as it will cause team cohesion to increase until it reaches its highest possible level. It can be useful when team cohesion has not yet reached a high level as explained below.
  • Defensive Positioning – Your players will work on defensive positioning for the next match and so will be able to defend more effectively. The effect of this focus is temporary as it will only last for the duration of the match concerned.
  • Attacking Movement – Your players will work on attacking movement for the next match and so will be able to attack more effectively. The effect of this focus is temporary as it will only last for the duration of the match concerned.
  • Defending Set Pieces – Your players will work on defending set pieces for the next match and so will be able to defend corners and free kicks more effectively. The effect of this focus is temporary as it will only last for the duration of the match concerned.
  • Attacking Set Pieces – Your players will work on attacking set pieces for the next match and so will be able to take more effective corners and free kicks. The effect of this focus is temporary as it will only last for the duration of the match concerned.

All of these focuses provide short-term benefits only and do not contribute towards the long-term aim of player development. However, the benefits of the Match Tactics and Teamwork focuses are longer lasting as their effects are cumulative.

Details of how to choose an appropriate temporary focus to use before matches against different types of opposition teams are provided in the Preparing for the Match guide.

The Teamwork Focus

The Teamwork focus can be a very useful focus to use if your squad does not yet have a high level of team cohesion. As with tactic familiarity, this may be the case after you have made new signings or when your players have returned to training at the start of pre-season. Although, if tactic familiarity also needs improving then it is advisable to prioritise this and use the Match Tactics focus first. The other focuses can be used mainly for more important matches, if at all, while team cohesion is being built up by selecting alternative focuses for such matches on the training calendar.

However, Teamwork is a less useful focus to use once team cohesion has reached a high level and will have no effect if team cohesion is already at its highest level.

Team cohesion is explained in more detail in the Player Morale & Relationships guide.

Scheduling

You can set the proportion of team training time that your squad will spend on match preparation training using the slider on the Scheduling panel. This has five settings, varying from 50% of time being spent on match preparation training (and 50% on general training) when the slider is positioned to the far left, to 0% of time on match preparation training (and 100% on general training) when the slider is positioned to the far right.

The training calendar gives a visual indication of how much time will be spent on each type of team training. However, this does not display the exact allocation of time. Training days are split between both general training and match preparation training even if this is not shown on the calendar.

The more time you schedule for match preparation training the more quickly tactic familiarity will be gained. Therefore, it is advisable to increase the amount of match preparation training when tactic familiarity levels are not yet fluid.

When tactic familiarity levels are described as fluid in each component for all of your tactics (assuming that you wish to use alternative tactics) the amount of match preparation training can be reduced so as not to to take time away from general training unnecessarily. Setting the slider to 10% match training (4 notches from the left on the slider) should generally be sufficient to maintain tactic familiarity levels while also allowing your team to prepare a focus for the next match, as long as you do not alter your team instructions outside of matches. If you do not believe that you need to prepare a focus to boost performance in the next match or to increase team cohesion any further then you may want to temporarily schedule 0% match preparation training. This will allow you to maximise general training time for a short period until you need to increase tactic familiarity levels again.

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