So with little transfer budget, we approached the offseason looking for free transfers. 10 came in on the 1st of July.
First team options were brought in at left back and centre back with Bruno Silva and Pecks from Gil Vicente and Mark Little from Bristol City to play on the right. The midfield was bolstered by Lee Evans from Wolves and José Semedo from Sheffield Wednesday. Jeam made the move across from Brazil to compete for a place up top. Joel Pereira came in on loan from Man United to be first choice between the sticks.
No major losses from the first team squad with fringe options moving on as contracts expired.
Given the numbers brought in, plenty of preseason fixtures were in order.
The team rounded into form which lead to our win against Rio Ave in our return to the top flight. It’s always positive to grab three points when the expectation is to battle against relegation.
Form bounced around with three wins sandwiched by two losses in either side. Mixed results continued, the end of October saw a loss to Sporting 4-0 followed by a crushing 4-1 victory over Chaves lifting us to sixth. A promising start .
And then I received an offer to chat to a club on another continent, that led to this.
November in São Paulo is nice innit?
The downside to this move is that the season runs on a calendar basis so I was coming in with most of the season down. The reason for my appointment? Palmeiras, a powerhouse languished in mid table of the National League.
We had only five games remaining with the first two against Gremio. Firstly in the league and then the second leg of the Copa Libertadores after drawing 1-1 at home.
So two wins and three losses to end the season. An attempt to play the 4-1-2-3 DM didn’t take, so the final three matches experimented with the ultra Brazillian 4-2-2-2 DM Narrow. With little time to assess the squad and the São Paulo state league kicking off in late January, fast work was required to assess the squad and to reinforce the squad.
More on that in the next post!