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Career Yellow and Blue Blood: Season Three - Part Two (Completed)

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In the summer of 2017 popular Oxford United manager Michael Appleton left the club to take up the job as assistant manager at Leicester City. Appleton had done good work at the club and re-established his reputation as a coach having won promotion and took the club to two Wembley finals in his three years at the club. On leaving the club the Salford born manager had this to say "They (the next manager) have got a football club in a very good place," he said. "With a couple of additions, there's a really good opportunity for it to finish in the top six this season."

Speculation was now rife around the county as to who would be the next Yellows manager. Names such as Steven Pressley, Pep Clotet and Frank Lampard where mentioned for the vacant managers job at Grenoble Road and on the 30th of June it was announced that a press conference would be held the next day to announce the new manager. Within hours it was all over social media that the new man went by the name Fuddled Fox although others said he was simply known as Foxy and that he always wore a fox mask!

As the day of the press conference dawned it was confirmed by the club that the new manager did indeed go by the name of Fuddled Fox but that he was to be referred to as Foxy during his time at the club. In the statement the club went on to add:

“As a fan of the club for 20 years and an avid player of FM for longer we feel that Foxy brings the right blend of knowledge and passion to the job of Oxford United manager.”

In front of an unusually packed press conference for the announcement of a League One manager, Foxy meet the press for the first time.


" @samhardy from Black Cat TV. Why do you insist on wearing that stupid mask and how do you expect the players and fans to take you seriously?”

Foxy: “Umm, but this is my face!”

@PriZe from the Amsterdam News. Everyone knows your name is Fuddled Fox but you insist on us all calling you Foxy! Why?”

Foxy: “I have been known as Foxy for far longer than I have Fuddled Fox so it seemed to make sense to me”.

@Ashez from the Nintendo and LFC Gazette. As a fan of the club do you feel you have an added incentive to be successful?”

Foxy: When I first started to support the club we where in the old first division now known as the Championship and I have seen the club suffer three relegations in my time and the struggle of getting back into the Football League. I am determined to bring a new golden age to the club and see us back in the top flight and lifting a trophy.

@Taff from the Cennin a Melysyn Papur Newydd. What are your aims for this club?”

Foxy: “I will settle at nothing less than emulating the achievements of great former Oxford managers Jim Smith and Maurice Evans by winning both League One this season, the Championship next season and a trophy and at least Premier League survival in our third season. On top of that I want my top scorer to get more goals than there mid 80’s counter parts. I have detailed my full aims in this document if you wish to read it.

@BatiGoal from the paper that supports many, many clubs. Have you had time to fully assess the squad at your disposal and come up with a tactic?”

Foxy: “Obviously I have only just taken over at the club and despite having some knowledge of the squad I need to take some advice from my assistant manager. Luckily he has made me this handy report so that I can get acquainted with the inner workings of the club quicker.


  The biggest positives for me are the strength in midfield with players like Ledson, Brannagan, Ruffels and Rothwell.




I am also expecting big things from my striker Wes Thomas who has excellent shooting and I want to be the man to beat the 24 goals scored by Steven Biggins in the 83/84 season.



I won’t be discussing any tactics or transfers today.

As for the negatives, I have had a discussion with the board regarding the improvement of our training facilities but they are being bell-ends and won’t do anything to improve them at the moment despite them being rated as below average and this could be a hindrance to our players development.



I have been able to improve the backroom staff though with our bronze coach, scout and physio going and three new silver rated members of staff joining. We have Paul Anthrobus a general coach, Paul Molesworth a first team scout and prevention physio Chris Bowman joining the backroom staff. I will be keeping Fazackerley as my assistant and defensive coach though as he is one of the best in the division.



With that the press conference was over and Foxy headed off to start work on preparations for the new season, a season that by his own high standards he expects to end with the lifting of the League One title.

NEXT TIME ON YELLOW AND BLUE BLOOD: Transfers, tactics and the first half of the season.

Thank you for reading.

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Can't wait to follow this one mate! Hope you take us right to the top, ASAP. :)

Mind you watch out for that @BatiGoal - I've had trouble with him and his news outlet in the past... ;) 

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Great read, amazing to see an old-fashioned, regular career nowadays seeing as challenge careers are more popular than ever.

Sometimes its nice to go back to the basics. Looking forward to the next update 

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2 hours ago, ManLikeRobbieBrady said:

seeing as challenge careers are more popular than ever.

There is a challenge I created in the background of this save but I'm going to try a not focus too much on the challenge.


4 hours ago, scratch99 said:

Hope you take us right to the top, ASAP.

Thats the plan and i will try my best mate.

4 hours ago, mcandrew003 said:

Very interesting and fun read, looking forward to this :)


1 hour ago, Ashez said:

Cracking write up mate, you've caught my attention!

I hope I can continue to keep your attention?

40 minutes ago, PriZe said:

wears a mask.

It's not a mask that's what I look like!

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Dude...i knew you could make it one day!

Big fan of the ol Jim Smith.....lets hope you can atleast emulate the big man.

(If not rip up the records altogether and just dominate europe)..

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Following the madness of his first press conference Foxy got straight down to work building a squad which he hoped could achieve the success he was after this season. We caught up with him in his office just after the transfer window closed to get his thoughts on the business he managed to do in the window.


Before we start I just have to complement you on the tidiness of your office.

Foxy: Thanks, although if one of the lads hadn’t left one of his sweaty shirts on the desk it would be even tidier. Mike Williamson can expect one weeks wages docked for that.

Ok swiftly moving on. Which players did you decide to move on when you took over at the club?

Foxy: I would have liked to have sold more players than I did, simply to make room for my own players. I decided that 28 year old centre back Aaron Martin would be surplus to requirements as I don’t think he is good enough. He may have very good aerial ability and strength but he is too slow and can’t tackle so he was no use to me. Luckily Charlton came in with 60k for him and I was glad to let him go.



I would have also liked to let full backs Dwight Tiendalli, Ricardinho, centre midfielder Ivo Pekalski and striker Agon Mehmeti move on but no one wanted to buy them so they will have to make do with reserve football until at least January.



Pekalski and Mehmeti are both prone to injury and the two full backs simply aren’t good enough to play for this club.

So how about the lads you brought in? What areas of the pitch did you feel needed to be strengthened the most?

Foxy: I felt that up front we are well covered with Wes and Obika so I concentrated further back on the defence and midfield. I wanted to bring in a couple of decent centre backs as we lack some pace in that area. I got straight on the phone to Jose and a season long loan was done to bring in 19 year old centre back Ro-Shaun Williams. He has good pace and positioning and has decent aerial and tackling ability.



I also manged to secure the signing of former Port Vale centre back Remie Streete on a free transfer. He is only 22 and is very well rounded defender and I’m expecting good things from him this season.



I also needed to bring in a left back as the only decent player I have in that position is Josh Ruffels. This was to prove a problem position to fill due to a real lack of good players in this position that where interested in signing for us. I put out a number of loan offers but either the clubs turned them down or the player would sign for another club. I had identified Myles Kenlock of Ipswich as a potential signing but the tractor boys wanted £800k for him and that would have been my whole transfer budget! In the end I was able to strengthen the squad in other areas without spending any of my budget so I decided that I would go for it with Kenlock. He is 21 and has decent physical, tackling and teamwork. I do hope he can develop more as the season goes on as he cost a lot of money for this club.



How about further up the pitch, did you strengthen the midfield area?

Foxy: When I joined the club I was aware we had a strong midfield but that didn’t stop me from looking to strengthen in that area. I needed a left winger to back up Rob Hall and I moved to bring in Anthony Georgiou on loan from Spurs. He is very quick with good dribbling and passing, also his crossing isn’t bad for league one either so he will make a good back up or impact sub off the bench as the season goes on.



I also wanted to add another centre mid and the type of player I was looking for had to be an all rounder with some pace that could play as a box to box midfielder. I moved quickly and brought in 18 year old Elliot Embleton on loan from Sunderland. He has that pace I was looking for as well as a good spread of blue attributes and has the added bonus of being either footed.



I am fairly happy with the business I manged to do in the summer window but of course as managers we always wish we had more money and a couple more players at our disposal.


So now you have your squad assembled what is the tactical plan going forward?

Foxy: The plan is to play on the front foot with a high pressure defensive game. I want to try and focus on the AF getting the vast majority of the goals as we have good wingers and AP’s in the squad. I am a big fan of the BBM role and with Embleton’s pace at my disposal I want to use it to stretch the oppositions midfield.  At the back we will keep it simple with standard CB’s and FB’s



With a control mentality and narrow width I hope we can try and keep as much possession as possible and attack teams without being too gung ho and ginving away chances at the back.



I have some decent pace at the back with Williams, Nelson and Streete so we are going to push the defensive line up high and close down all over the pitch to put the opposition under as much pressure as we can. The offside trap along with the pace of our CB’s act as an insurance policy against counter attacks. In the friendlies and the first couple of league games we tried out committed tackling but after a couple of sending’s off and a lot of yellows I decided to tone it down a bit.



In the attack we are going to work the ball into the box which also ties in to our short passing style. Wes Thomas is a good finisher and if we can get him into good positions in and around the box he will score us plenty of goals. I have gone for long goalkeeper distribution as I’m not confident on either Eastwood’s or our defenders ability to play out on a consistent basis.

Pre Season


Foxy’s rein in charge of the yellows started in controversial style has he failed to attend any of the clubs four pre season friendlies. The Oxford Mail asked him about this “to be honest mate I can’t be arsed with friendlies so I just let Derek get on with managing the team and I put my feet up. The results were ok except for the Saints game but in the end none of this matters”


The campaign kicked off with an away game at Oldham. A positive performance from the Yellows couldn’t disguise the result as they lost 2-1 to a 92nd minute winner from Eoin Doyle. Already questions where being asked after Foxy’s no show for pre-season.



Another tricky away game followed with the short trip to Northampton in the League Cup. Any doubts where brushed aside as they ran out 5-0 winners with a brace from Wes Thomas the highlight.


  This set up a second round clash against Premier League Watford and despite a decent performance the higher division class won the day.


After that opening day defeat in the league the results started to pick up as the month wore on. Three wins and three clean sheets in the league meant that the club finished the month in sixth place and a home win versus MK Dons in the Checkatrade put them in a strong position in Group O of that competition.August.thumb.png.cc147f9ca0888c85b56d958269895799.png


NEXT TIME ON YELLOW AND BLUE BLOOD: We meet some key members of the squad, review the January transfer window and look at the results for the rest of the season.

Thank you for reading

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16 hours ago, NucleusNT said:

Great first update mate


5 hours ago, Titjes said:

nice first update

I'm glad your enjoying it:).

The rest of season one is half written so I hope to have it out over the weekend.

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Nice start! Like what you're doing, especially Remi Streete (ex-Newcastle player! although he didn't play for us I don't think). The other new players look good too. And great writing! 

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@Foxy mate I'd like to say your doing well, but as a rival fan and supporter of a rival club, I'd like to see you crash and burn...

No not really, looks really good mate, there are some good talent this season, I have been to 4/5 of the games this season, more than I've watched Oldham to be truthful, obviously due to living in Bicester, I consider Oxford as my local club. I do remember the days when Oldham got battered by a  5-0 loss away, with an Aldridge hatrick, that was hard to take, but I play 5 a-side with 5 other Oxford fans, and as I've mentioned Ledson is my neighbour, so it's good to watch him every now and again

Good luck with the rest of the challenge, bring the big time back to your club at heart

I nearly created a challenge from Oldham's, history

1. Frankie Bunn scored 6 (Still the record) in the League cup, Ritchie made it 7-0 against Scarborough 1989

2. Andy Ritchie scored in every round, except the Final (loosing to Forest at Wembley 1-0) :'(

So that was the basis of the challenge, then I thought get them to the Prem, win something blah blah blah

But sacked it, most of the youngsters, and probably 80% of the Vibe community don't even know who Oldham are, so I give up :laugh:

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2 minutes ago, Cockers2505 said:

But sacked it, most of the youngsters, and probably 80% of the Vibe community don't even know who Oldham are, so I give up

Same with Oxford? but it's up to us to teach these young un's about the good ol' days.

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The season was under way and it had been a decent start for the yellows as they moved into September on the back of three clean sheets and league wins.


September was an extremely busy month with seven league games to play and a lot of points to be won and lost.


Oxford where starting to show there promotion credentials with some solid wins but a 0-0 draw at home didn’t please Foxy.

“I was fuming after the Bradford game as we simply didn’t create enough chances in the game and then the one we did get Thomas manged to get himself offside in the build-up”



Worse was to come at the end of the month with a defeat versus Peterborough.





A 0-0 draw with a penalties win bonus point at Stevenage was enough to see Oxford progress in the Checkatrade. After the match Foxy was asked by the Oxford Mail about his choice of kids and out of favour players in this game.

“Well frankly the competition is a waste of my f***ing time and the first choice players time as well. I mean what’s the point? I don’t give a s**t, the players don’t give a s**t and the fans don’t give a s**t until the Wembley final. Sooner we go out this competition the better to be honest and I will be fining all the players who scored there penalties in this game.



In the league the results continued to be very good with five straight wins including a 3-2 win over one of the pre-season title favourites Rotherham.





November brought the FA Cup into play as Dartford made the trip to Grenoble Road and left with a 4-0 defeat as the Yellows cruised into round 2.



A Wes Thomas hat trick led to a very tasty 3-1 win over Blackburn this month as he continued his fine goal scoring form this season but two disappointing draws versus Northampton and Southend did spoil this month a bit.




The half way  point of the season was fast approaching and the U’s continued there good form despite a second 1-0 loss of the season to Peterborough in the Checkatrade. A result that Foxy was delighted with.

“I had to stop myself celebrating when there goal went in. All that matters this season is the League.”




A comfortable 6-niller over Hartlepool saw the club move into the FA Cup third round.

The Wigan game marked the mid-way point in the season and things at the top of the table where looking very rosy for the Yellows as they sat top with a 12 point cushion over Oldham who where 2nd.


Wes Thomas was also leading the way in front of goal with 32 goals in all competitions so far and smashing the total of 24 that Gary Biggins got for the club in 1983/84 season.


Meet the players

Lets take a break from this review of the season and meet some of the lads that have played a key part in a successful first half of the season for Oxford. We will let Foxy introduce the guys and tell you a little about them.


Curtis Nelson


“ The club signed him from Plymouth at the start of last season for 200k and it has proved money well spent. I was delighted that he signed a new contract in November that will take him to 2020.

 Curtis has all the qualities that you would want from a defender in the lower leagues with excellent aerial and tackling and although he isn’t the best technically I don’t need that from him as his job is to simply defend. He is also a very intelligent footballer who is rarely in the wrong position and makes good decisions when you need him to and works hard for the team. I like my defenders to have good pace so we can push the defence up high and Curtis isn’t slow and he is very fit and strong.”

Ryan Ledson


“ Ryan was a player I was excited to work with when I joined the club as he has a lot of potential and is only 20 years old. We have already turned down offers of £5m for him from Huddersfield and luckily we have been able to tie him down to a long term deal. He joined Oxford from Everton for 150k last season.

He is a good technical midfielder with advanced playmaker being his best role to utilise his passing and creativity. He has had to sacrifice himself for the team this year and play a more disciplined role as a DLP because I wasn’t able to bring in a specialist in that role. I hope that despite our cow patch of a training ground he can develop further in the next year or so and continue to be an important part of the team.

Wes Thomas


“Every successful club needs a goal scorer and so far this season Wes has been ours with 32 goals so far this season. He is now in his 30’s having had a well-travelled career playing for clubs such as Bournemouth, Birmingham and even as unfortunate spell on loan at Scumd…. sorry Swindon.

He is a real finisher and is at his best with the ball at his feet in the box although his heading and pace are ok as well. He isn’t the most intelligent player around but he is willing to work for the team. His contract runs out in the summer and despite all the goals he has scored so far I’m not convinced that is we get promoted he will be able to cut it at the Championship level, the fact he also wants 5.75k a week to resign doesn’t do his case much good either.

 January Transfer window

"I was able to get rid of some of the dead wood in the squad during January which helped with the wage bill but I decided not to bring anyone in as I couldn't find anyone who would improve the squad."




FA Cup third round day loomed large this month and a trip to former champions Leicester had the whole of Oxford buzzing including the manager.

“ I love the FA Cup and especially the early rounds. We travelled to the KP more in hope than anticipation as they are a very good side but with the thousands of Oxford fans making a racket I feel we gave a decent performance and on another day we may have got a replay. Unfortunatly Harvey Barnes popped up with an 86th minute winner and I had to put up with the abuse from the founder of the Harvey Barnes fan club @samhardy ”


The rest of the month was mostly positive except for a dodgy 1-0 reverse at home to Bury. The moth ended with Oxford giving Wigan another good hiding and cementing top spot in the table.




Not too many games for Oxford this month which was a huge help to a squad which has good players but not much strength in depth. The result of the month was giving Bristol Rovers a good stoofing 7-1 at Grenoble Road.



The month was a sea of green and the title was very close now.



With a very big lead in the table this was the month that could seal the League one title for Oxford and complete the first step on Foxy’s road to emulating the great former Oxford managers.

By the end of the month the U’s where one win away from the title as they entertained Scunthorpe at Grenoble Road.

The table looked like this.


Did Foxy have any pre match nerves going into this game.

“Nerves?!? Don’t make me laugh we had 100 points and an 18 point lead over the franchise dons. If we didn’t do it today we would do it next week.”





No need for next week as a brace from Cameron Brannagan gave the yellows all 3 points and sealed the title with six games left in the season.








With the title wrapped up Oxford’s form suffered as they had four draws in there final six games but they did manage to beat Blackburn on the final day.

“This just showed how good we where this season as we played the final six games in our flip flops and we still couldn’t be beaten.”

How did Foxy see the season as a whole?

“I have to admit I didn’t think it would be as easy as it was to win the league. I knew we had some very good players but I was worried by the size of the squad as a couple of injuries in the wrong positions and we would have been playing some proper crap players. The lads did great though and for Wes Thomas to score 55 goals in the season was just awesome and was he real catalyst too winning the league.”




Challenge points.

League points: 110

GD: 62

Topscorers goals: Wes Thomas 55 goals

Total: 227 points

Other Football news


English football saw one of it’s most exciting FA Cup final as two Championship teams Sunderland and Reading contested a 6-4 thriller with Sunderland lifting the cup. It is thought that @samhardy is still pissed somewhere in London.

Next Time on Yellow and Blue Blood: Foxy is preparing the squad for an attempt at winning the Championship.

Thank you for reading



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6 minutes ago, Cockers2505 said:

what an excellent write up

Thanks mate. I'm trying to have a little fun with this as its only going to be three seasons max and I hope that is coming across in the updates:)

7 minutes ago, Cockers2505 said:

glad to see Oldham in the top 3

 They had a very good season and made the playoff final versus Peterborough.


Sorry it wasn't your day:( 



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5 hours ago, samhardy said:

Nice write up. That update was hand made for me :O

Which bit was your favourite?

  • The checkatrade rant.
  • Harvey Barnes knocking me out the cup.
  • Sunderland showing how unrealistic FMM is by winning a trophy.
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57 minutes ago, Foxy said:

Which bit was your favourite?

  • The checkatrade rant.
  • Harvey Barnes knocking me out the cup.
  • Sunderland showing how unrealistic FMM is by winning a trophy.

Harvey as my management of him received some stick during the 1K :P

Enjoyed the Checkatrade rant too but not the Sunderland cup win. Making me think it's possible :O

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BBC Radio Oxford News - 25th June 2018

Time for the sports news now and over to Jerome Sale.

JS: The news coming out from Oxford Utd this morning is that the club have completed improvements on there Horspath Road training ground and that the training facilities are now considered adequate. It is thought that manager Foxy had made a request that facilities should be improved to the board following the clubs promotion to the Championship and that they agreed to the request.

Our reporter Sexy Sue caught up with Foxy this morning and he has had this to say on the news.

Foxy: I am pleased that the board granted my request to improve the training ground as the facilities were below average last season and weren’t suitable to attract the quality of players we need to the club.

Sexy Sue: Can you give us more details on the work that has been carried out?

Foxy: Well work may be a little strong really. This morning I signed for a DPD delivery which contained a new bag of balls, new training cones and nets for the goals. I would have liked more but I have to say it is adequate at the moment.





It was a busy summer for the club as the manager tried to put together a squad that could compete in the Championship. We caught up with Foxy to discuss the deals he made.



Foxy: We had a good number of players out of contract, youngsters mostly who wouldn’t be good enough to make the grade at this club. I was able to sell Hemmings, young striker Owen James and Mousinho for a little money but it was pocket change really.

One big decision I had to make was on last seasons top scorer Wes Thomas. At 31 he isn’t getting any better and he wanted £5.5k a week to sign and as I didn’t feel he was good enough for the Championship I let him go. He has since gone on to sign for Swindon which was a slap in the face to the Oxford fans to see a player they cheered on last year sign for our biggest rivals but its hard to hold it against him. Luckily he has had a terrible start to the season and has vindicated my decision to release him.





To achieve my objective of winning the division this season I needed to make signings. We have the good basis of a squad but I needed more quality across all positions. Luckily the board gave me nearly £6m to spend on players and £230k on wages so I was able to do some business. I decided to splash most of it a few important positions and then use the loan market to fill any more gaps.




Eastwood had a good season for us last year but as soon as I saw Norris was available and after speaking to his agent knowing he was interested in coming on loan it was a no brainer to bring him in. So much of his game screams Premier League quality and he has all the technical attributes required to play the position.




We where strong at the back last year with Streete and Nelson forming a good partnership but they need back up and then with Nelson being out for the first month of the season injured that became even more important. To get a wonderkid like Tosin in on loan was great as he has some excellent attributes as a CB although I wish he would be more aggressive on the pitch.

I needed FB’s on both sides as I had no RB’s after Todd Kane went back to Chelsea and I needed some one on the left to compete with Kenlock. Kieron Freeman joined from Sheffield Utd and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis from Huddersfield and I have high hopes for both of them.




With players like Ledson, Rothwell and Brannigan we have some good central midfielders but we needed strength in depth and also someone who could play as a DM with more defensive qualities than the players I already have. Dominic Ball was the player to add that bite in the DM position as he is a strong tackler and takes up the correct positions on the field. Sam Field is a bit of a utility man and can play most roles in the CM/DM so he is a useful loan signing.

On the wings I needed a couple of right wingers so I dipped into the loan market again and brought in Leko from West Brom and Nketiah from Arsenal, both players are quick and can also play on the left and in Nketiah case upfront as well. On the left I resigned Georgiou from Spurs after he was back up for Rob Hall last season.




I need a striker who can score 35+ goals this season and I think in the end I signed two who would be capable. That gives me the luxury that if one loses form, is having a bad game  or has an injury then I have a good back up I can bring in. They are both quick, have good movement and can finish so I have high hopes that between them they can fire us into the Premier League. We came up against Mavididi last season when he was on loan at Charlton from Arsenal. He didn’t have a great season for them but he is only 20 and was going for free so with the improvements he can make I was determined to bring him in. Osawe has been over in Germany with Kaiserslautern having signed for them from Blackburn a few years ago and I think for £1.3m he represents very good value for money.


Pre Season


We would have spoken to Foxy about the friendlies but for the second year in a row he never bothered to turn up for the friendlies but the fans seemed less bothered by this after the success of last season.

Foxy has gone on record as saying he wants to win the league this season but what do the fans think? Let me know in the comments below.

NEXT TIME ON YELLOW AND BLUE BLOOD: We meet some of the players and review what happened in the Yellows first campaign in the second tier for 19 years.

Thank you for reading.

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Mate with the right signings you can storm this league, very good read and thorough write up, good luck mate, the mighty yellow and blue can will be winning the champions league very soon (y)

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This is shaping up very nicely. You did a great job last season and I'm really liking the players you've added to the squad in the off-season. I reckon you'll go close to promotion this season too.

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