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Making the Most of International Breaks in Football Manager: 4 Strategies for Success

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Discover how to optimize your time during international breaks in Football Manager and enhance your team's performance.
Football Manager International Breaks Guide

Discover how to optimize your time during international breaks in Football Manager and enhance your team's performance.


International Breaks are the nightmare of football fans around the world; not only do they bring often dull and irrelevant friendlies between national teams, but they also can be costly on other fronts. From things as simple as grinding to a halt all the dynamic narratives that have developed in each country’s domestic league to the feared “FIFA virus” that risks derailing a club’s season with injuries.

It’s therefore no surprise that most fans would be glad to get rid of the occasional 14-day breaks, but as a manager in Football Manager, you would be wise to see them as an opportunity. The break-in-the-action provides plenty of options for any virtual manager, so here are four things you can do instead of going on vacation for 14 days to get International Breaks done right.
 

Arrange friendlies to boost match sharpness


Just because the domestic season stops, doesn’t mean you have to. You are free to organise friendlies at any point during the season and the international break is the ideal time to do so.

Arrange friendlies to boost match sharpness

Depending on your team’s situation, these can have different focuses. For teams with lots of internationals, it can be an opportunity to bring forth players who are usually outside the rotation and give them some solid minutes to boost their Match Sharpness. You can also bring some youngsters into the fold and watch them in action with the first team.

If you’re on a lower leagues team or simply don’t have that many internationals, it’s vital to keep the rhythm going and not losing any ground in terms of sharpness against those who are having their players play over the fortnight. Either way, it’s better not to sleep on the chance.
 

Plan and execute tactical adjustments


Fans may hate them, but for a newly arrived-manager, an international break can be a blessing from the skies. Simply put, if you’ve just landed on a team mid-season any opportunity to work on your tactics is vital.

Having the games stop for two weeks provides you with the opportunity to dial into what your team is doing on the pitch and dive deeper into your tactics. You can do this by putting a focus on tactical exercises during your training and having your players focus intensively into what you want from them. Routines that work on Tactical Familiarity like “General - Tactical”, “Tactical - Defensive Shadow Play”, “Tactical - Attacking Shadow Play”, and “General - Overall” will help you, as well as those that focus on each player’s individual role, like “Match Preparation - Match Practice” or “General - Outfield”.

This can also be important if you’re not a new manager in the club but are instead looking to switch up your style. Planning ahead and carrying on this focus during the international break can ease the impact on tactical familiarity between games and save you a few headaches.

 

Ramp up training intensity (or quite the opposite)


Even if you’re not working on some brand new tactical masterplan, the international break can be a great time to focus on training. During the season, it can be hard to have your players work for improvements if you have too many mid-week games; if you don't have all that many players leaving to play internationally, it can be hugely important to make these break the “no pain, no gain” part of the season.

There are several ways to do this. You can adjust the levels of demand you are asking of your players via the Rest tab on the Training module, asking for Double Intensity. You can also make more use of the Extra Sessions in the Training Schedule if you don’t do it regularly, planning more training sessions to boost the gains.

However, it can also be a good opportunity to lower the intensity too. You can have more relaxed schedules, focusing on sustaining the level and gaining Team Cohesion or Tactical Familiarity. You can also have a player who’s struggling for fitness set to rest for a week or two, using the “Rest” option in player interactions.
 

Go watch potential signings


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and few things are as valuable as the picture of a manager in a game they’re not managing in. An international break may present big opportunities to improve your team via training and fitness, but if you play your cards right, it can also help you do it via transfer signing.

Simply put, you can use the opportunity to watch any given player you’re chasing after, provided of course, they’re taking part in one of the friendlies or qualifiers that are played that break. This can be a bit tedious and you’ll probably want to watch the game in key highlights at best, but regardless it’s likely to have the desired effect.

Go watch potential signings

For the one part, it’ll make your interest in the player overt, which can play a role if the reputation difference between the clubs (and the player and yourself) is big; if that’s the case, it can unsettle the player and prompt him to ask for the move. It can also bolster your chances if you’re chasing a player who needs some convincing, as it will send the message you’re truly interested and this will show in the negotiations. To do this, all you have to do is find the game in any scheduling screen and click the magnifying glass icon on the bottom right to confirm you’ll be attending the game.
 

Conclusion


International breaks aren’t anyone’s favourite part of the season. Particularly if you’re riding the wave high or challenging at several fronts, they can become an annoyance at best and a tragedy at worst. But that does not mean there aren’t many ways to use your time effectively during that fortnight on Football Manager. Be it working on your team’s sharpness, tactics or training or simply going out to play mind games with someone else’s wonderkid, there are several ways to get International Breaks done right. Good luck!

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FM Blog | FM24: Making the Most of International Breaks in Football Manager: 4 Strategies for Success
Making the Most of International Breaks in Football Manager: 4 Strategies for Success
Discover how to optimize your time during international breaks in Football Manager and enhance your team's performance.
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