Team Talk Guidelines

The below team talk guidelines use the considerations discussed in the Team Talks guide to suggest appropriate talks to use in the general match scenarios you are likely to encounter.

You may find it useful to apply these guidelines as you start out on your managerial career, before developing your own approach over time as you discover what works best for you and your players.

Pre-Match Overall Team Talk

Your pre-match overall team talk is used to ensure that your players go onto the pitch with a good mentality and attitude. It represents the expectations you have of your team for the match ahead, and will therefore affect the team talks you give later at half-time and full-time.

The talk you give should be determined largely by the match odds and the general morale of your starting line-up.

Scenario Suggested Talk

Your team is the heavy favourite and morale is okay or better.

Your team is the clear favourite and morale is fairly good or better.

Your team is the slight favourite and morale is good or better.

The match odds are very close and morale is very good.

I expect a win / I expect a result

I’m expecting you to win today boys.

I expect nothing but a win from this match.

A team such as ours should be winning this match without any problem at all.

Your team is the heavy favourite and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team is the clear favourite and morale is okay or worse.

Your team is the slight favourite but morale is fairly poor, okay or fairly good.

The match odds are very close and morale is okay, fairly good or good.

The opposition team is the slight favourite and morale is fairly good or better.

The opposition team is the clear favourite and morale is good or better.

The opposition team is the heavy favourite and morale is very good.

Impress me (if the game is not a “big match”, for example against a rival club)

Come on lads, show me what you can do!

Come on lads, we are the favourites here so show me what you can do!

For the fans! (if the game is a “big match”, for example against a rival club)

Let’s give the fans something to cheer today.

Let’s give the fans a performance they are expecting of us here.

We are the favourites here, so go on out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for!

Your team is the clear favourite and morale is very poor.

Your team is the slight favourite and morale is poor.

The match odds are very close and morale is fairly poor.

The opposition team is the slight favourite and morale is okay.

The opposition team is the clear favourite and morale is fairly good.

The opposition team is the heavy favourite and morale is good.

Wish luck

Good luck lads!

Good luck out there today.

Good luck lads, go out there and pull off an upset.

Your team is the slight favourite and morale is very poor.

The match odds are very close and morale is poor or worse.

The opposition is the slight favourite and morale is fairly poor or worse.

The opposition is the clear favourite and morale is okay or worse.

The opposition team is the heavy favourite and morale is fairly good or worse.

No pressure

Go and have some fun today.

Enjoy the match today.

We’re huge underdogs, so there’s no pressure on you to succeed. Go out there and show everyone what you’ve got.

The result will come

If we play our game, we’ll win. You’re all very capable of that.

Just go out there, relax and play your natural game. The result will come.

Your team performed well in the last match and none of the above options is particularly required to motivate, encourage or relax your players.

Pick up where you left off!

Go out there and carry straight on from where you finished last match.

Your team performed poorly in the last match and none of the above options is particularly required to motivate, encourage or relax your players.

Expect to see improvement

I’m expecting to see much better performances tonight.

Pre-Match Individual Talks

Scenario

Suggested Talk

The player achieved a rating of 7.5 or above in his last match, unless you know that he often reacts well to “you have faith” or “expect a performance”.

Pick up where you left off

I want to see more of the same from you today.

The player achieved a rating of 5.5 or below in his last match and his morale is okay or better.

Expect better

I want to see a better performance from you today.

The player has poor morale relative to the rest of your team or is a striker on a goal drought.

The player requires extra encouragement following the pre-match overall talk.

You know that the player often reacts well to “you have faith” pre-match.

You have faith

I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.

I have faith in you, get out there and make a difference.

The player is overly relaxed or complacent following the pre-match overall talk.

The player has been complacent before or during recent matches and has fairly good morale or better.

You know that the player often reacts well to “expect a performance” pre-match.

Expect a performance

Show me what you’ve got today, I want to see a good display.

I want to see a good performance from you today.

Defenders - I’m expecting to see solid defensive work out there.

Midfielders - I’m expecting you to take control of the midfield out there.

Strikers - I’m expecting to see quality finishing out there.

The player is nervous following the pre-match overall talk.

The player has been nervous before or during recent matches.

The player is a young player who is making one of his first few appearances for your team.

No pressure

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

There is no pressure on you today.

Half-Time Overall Team Talk

Your half-time overall team talk is your opportunity to give feedback to your players on their first-half performance and to inspire them to either keep up their performance levels or improve in the second half. It is probably the most important team talk as it can contribute greatly to a match swinging either in or out of your favour.

Although the half-time score is an important consideration, the talk you give should be determined mostly by how well your team has performed relative to the expectations that you set earlier with your pre-match talk. You will therefore need to consider the general match ratings of your players alongside the score, and assess this in the light of what you said to your players before the match. For example, general ratings around 6.7 to 7.0 could be considered average, which may be impressive if you gave a “wish luck” pre-match talk, but not if you gave an “I expect a win” pre-match talk.

Your talk should also take into account general morale and any feedback of complacency or nervousness.

Scenario

Suggested Talk

Your team is performing well above expectations.

Your team is winning or drawing, performing to or slightly above expectations, morale is fairly poor or worse and few or no players have been complacent.

Your team is winning or drawing, performing to or slightly above expectations, several players have been nervous and few or no players have been complacent.

Pleased, keep it up

I’m pleased with how things are going, keep it up.

I'm very pleased with your performance, keep it going lads.

Your team is winning, performing to or slightly above expectations, morale is okay or better and few or no players have been nervous.

Your team is winning, performing to or slightly above expectations and several players have been complacent.

Don’t let your performance drop!

Don’t get complacent out there.

Don't get complacent out there despite the score.

Don’t get complacent, things can turn around very quickly in football, keep focused.

We’ve got to guard against complacency now. Don’t think the job is done.

You might be winning, but that could all still change if your performance levels drop. Don't let that happen.

We might have a solid lead but that can all still change, so keep your performance levels up.

Your team is winning, performing slightly below expectations and morale is fairly good or worse.

Your team is winning, performing well below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team is winning, performing below expectations and several players have been nervous.

Doing well but room for improvement

You have played well so far but there is still room for improvement.

Things are going well, but I know you are capable of even better.

Your team is winning or drawing, performing slightly below expectations, morale is good or better and few or no players have been nervous.

Your team is winning or drawing, performing well below expectations, morale is okay or better and few or no players have been nervous.

Disappointing / Angry

I am not happy with your performance out there.

I'm far from pleased with what I just saw from this team.

Your team is drawing, performing to or slightly above expectations, morale is okay or better, few or no players have been nervous and few or no players have been complacent.

Your team is losing, performing to or slightly above expectations, morale is fairly poor or worse and few or no players have been complacent.

Your team is losing, performing to or slightly above expectations, several players have been nervous and few or no players have been complacent.

You’re outplaying them everywhere!

You're performing well out there, keep it up and the result will come.

Keep playing the way you have been and the result will come.

Your team is drawing, performing to or slightly above expectations and several players have been complacent.

Your team is drawing, performing slightly below expectations, morale is fairly good or worse and few or no players have been nervous.

We can win this! / Keep going, you can win today

Keep going out there and you can still win this one.

Keep going out there and you can still win today.

We can still come out of this match with a win today.

We can still win this. Keep working hard and it will come.

For the fans

Let’s give the fans something to cheer today.

We are the favourites here, so go out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for!

Let’s give the fans a good performance despite the odds being against us here.

All we need is one goal, you can do it!

One goal is going to be enough to win this, keep working hard and we'll get it.

Your team is losing, performing to or slightly above expectations, morale is okay or better, few or no players have been nervous and few or no players have been complacent.

Your team is losing, performing slightly below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team is losing, performing slightly below expectations and several players have been nervous.

I know you can do better than this!

Keep going out there and you can still win this one.

Keep going out there and you can still win today.

We can still come out of this match with a win today.

We can still win this. Keep working hard and it will come.

Your team is drawing, performing well below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team is drawing, performing below expectations and several players have been nervous.

Your team is losing, performing well below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team is losing, performing well below expectations and several players have been nervous.

Unlucky boys

Unlucky boys, things just haven’t gone right for us so far.

You have been unlucky so far.

Your team is losing, performing to or slightly above expectations and several players have been complacent.

Your team is losing, performing slightly below expectations, morale is okay or better and few or no players have been nervous.

Expect better in the second half

I expect to see a much better showing from you in the second half.

Show me something else in the second half.

Come on boys, I know you can do much better than this and I expect to see it in the second half.

Where’s the passion, lads?

Where is the passion lads? Do you not even want to win this match?

Come on lads, show a bit of desire. You don’t look like a team that wants to win.

Your team is losing, performing well below expectations, morale is okay or better and few or no players have been nervous.

Letting the team down

You’re much better than this, but you’re not playing like it. Stop letting yourselves down and sort it out.

Your pride is at stake today. You’re letting yourselves down.

Prove a point!

Let's show the world what this team is all about shall we?

Your team is losing and you gave “no pressure” as a pre-match team talk.

No pressure

There’s no pressure on you to get a result today, go and play with confidence and have some fun, and see what happens.

The way the game is set you can go back out there for the second half and play without pressure.

There’s nothing to lose today, so go out there and give it your best shot.

The pressure is off here lads, go out there and play and the result will take care of itself.

You can go out there and play without pressure now.

Half-Time Individual Talks

Scenario Suggested Talk
The player has achieved a rating of 6.9 or above and was given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, has been nervous, is a young player, is making one of his first few appearances for your team or is returning from a long term injury.

Delighted

I’m very happy with your performance today.

Defenders - I’m very happy with your solid defensive work.

Midfielders - I’m very happy with your playmaking efforts in the midfield.

Strikers - I’m very happy with your effort in the final third.

The player has played well, having either achieved a rating of 7.4 or above or scored a goal.

You can make the difference! (if available)

You have the ability to make a real difference for us today, get out there and do it!

I’m looking to you to make the difference for us, I know you’re capable.

You have faith

You weren’t bad, but I believe you can still improve. I have faith in you.

There’s a lot more to come from you and I believe you’ve got what it takes.

The player has performed okay or well relative to the rest of the team but was upset by a negative half-time team talk caused by a poor team performance.

The player has achieved a rating of 6.8 and was given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, has been nervous, is a young player, is a new player making one of his first few appearances for your team or is returning from a long term injury.

Unlucky

You have been unlucky so far, good effort.

The player has achieved a rating of 6.7 or below and was given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, has been nervous, is a young player, is a new player making one of his first few appearances for your team, or is returning from a long term injury.

No pressure

There is no pressure on you today.

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

You may want to consider substituting such players if possible.

The player has performed relatively poorly but his morale is okay or better, he was not given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, is not a young player, is not making one of his first few appearances for your team, is not returning from a long term injury, and is not known to react badly to criticism at half-time.

Prove a point! (if available)

Go out there and show everyone what you’re capable of.

I want you to prove to everybody that you have got what it takes to play for this club.

Unhappy

I am not happy with your performance today.

Defenders - I’m not happy with your defensive work.

Midfielders - I’m not happy with your playmaking efforts.

Strikers - I’m not happy with your finishing.

It is advisable to substitute poor performers for whom these talks are not suitable, who react badly to the talk, who do not improve in the 15 minutes after half-time, or who have a rating below 6.0.

The player is wound-up or stressed at half-time.

Calm down

I need you to calm down.

You need to calm down.

Substitutes Brought On

Scenario Suggested Talk
The player achieved a rating of 7.5 or above in his last match, unless you know that he often reacts well to “you have faith” or “expect a performance”.

Pick up where you left off

I want to see more of the same from you today.

The player achieved a rating of 5.5 or below in his last match and his morale is okay or better.

Expect better

I want to see a better performance from you today.

Your assistant’s feedback reports that the player looked complacent pre-match.

You know that the player often reacts well to “expect a performance” as a substitute.

Expect a performance

Show me what you’ve got today, I want to see a good display.

Your assistant’s feedback reports that the player looked nervous pre-match.

The player is a young player who is making one of his first few appearances for your team.

No pressure

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

All other cases.

You can make the difference! (if available)

I’m looking for you to make the difference for us, I know you’re capable.

You have faith

I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.

Full-Time Overall Team Talk

Your full-time overall team talk is used to praise your players when they have played well and to let them know when they have not played well enough. Although this talk will obviously not have an influence on the result like the pre-match and half-time talks, it can play a big part in helping you to achieve and maintain high levels of morale among your players and develop good relationships with them.

As at half-time, your talk should be determined mostly by how well your team has performed relative to the expectations that you set with your pre-match talk, but now you will be considering overall performance from both halves. As such, it may be appropriate to praise an improvement in performance after half-time or criticise a poorer display in the second half. Again morale is another important consideration, while complacency may also influence your talk.

Scenario Suggested Talk

Your team has performed well above expectations.

Your team has won and performed to or slightly above expectations.

Your team has won, performed slightly below expectations and morale is okay or worse.

Your team has won, performed well below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed to or slightly above expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Well done

A very nice victory, well done.

A good win boys, well done.

Well done lads, that was a good win for us.

I'm very pleased with the result and your performance.

I’m very happy with the result and the way you played.

Pleased

I’m happy with what I saw out there, there were some positives for sure.

Putting the result aside, that was a pleasing performance.

Despite the result, I’m pleased with your performance out there.

I can’t fault you for effort, nobody expected us to win but you gave it everything.

Great comeback (if available)

You've done brilliantly to come back and win that. I'm proud of you.

What a comeback that was. A superb effort, I’m proud and so should all of you be.

Your team has won, performed slightly below expectations, morale is fairly good or better and few or no players have been complacent.

Warn against complacency

It’s important to now switch our focus to the next match, and not become complacent.

Don’t let yourselves get complacent for the next match.

Your team has won, performed above expectations, has otherwise been performing below expectations in recent matches and morale is fairly good or better.

Why can’t you play like this every match?

That was a very good performance, which makes me ask why we can’t play like that more often.

That was a very good performance, which makes me ask why we can't play that way on a consistent basis.

You played very well today, why can’t you perform like that in every match?

Your team has won, performed slightly below expectations, morale is fairly good or better and several players have been complacent.

Your team has won, performed well below expectations, and morale is okay or fairly good.

Not good enough

We got away with that today, you were poor out there. We need to be much better than that when we come up against better sides.

That was a bit of a let-off; we weren’t good enough and have to step thing up against better opposition.

Your team has won, performed well below expectations and morale is good or better.

Awful, regardless of victory

Win or not, that performance was unacceptable and we’re going to have to work on a few things.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed to or slightly above expectations and morale is okay or better.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed slightly below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Unlucky boys

You were unlucky tonight.

Unlucky boys, it just wasn’t our day.

I’m not too concerned despite the result, we were unlucky out there.

Don’t look back and worry about the result. We were just unlucky there.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed slightly below expectations, morale is okay or better and few or no players have been complacent.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed well below expectations and morale is fairly poor or worse.

Not good enough

That, simply put, was not good enough. We should have won that match.

Good first half but poor second half (if available)

That was a real “Jekyll and Hyde” performance from you. You were fantastic in the first-half but the second-half showing was unacceptable.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed slightly below expectations, morale is okay or better and several players have been complacent.

Your team has drawn or lost, performed well below expectations and morale is okay or better.

Disappointing / Embarrassing / Angry

I’m far from pleased with what I just saw from this team.

I am not happy with your performance out there.

I am not happy with the result.

I’m far from pleased with that result.

You weren’t good enough today, that was the sort of match we should be winning.

That wasn’t good enough I’m afraid, there’s no excuses for not winning that sort of match.

Full-Time Individual Talks

The player was one of your top few performers and your team won.

Changed the game (if available)

You were a decisive factor in an amazing turnaround for us tonight, well done.

Great second half (if available)

That was the sort of reaction I was after, you were great in the second half.

Delighted

I’m pleased with how you did today.

I’m pleased with your performance today.

I’m very happy with your performance today.

Your performance today was very good.

Defenders - I’m very happy with your solid defensive work.

Midfielders - I’m very happy with your playmaking efforts in the midfield.

Strikers - I’m very happy with your effort in the final third.

The player performed well but was not one of your top few performers, and your team won.

The player was one of your top few performers and your team did not win, but did perform to expectations.

The player achieved a rating of 6.9 or above and was given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, is a young player, was making one of his first few appearances for your team or was returning from a long term injury.

Did well

You impressed me out there.

You did well out there.

The second half was much better, well done.

Defenders - Your defensive efforts were crucial in our win.

Midfielders - Your playmaking efforts were crucial in our win.

Strikers - Your efforts in the final third were crucial in our win.

The player has performed okay or well relative to the rest of your team but was upset by a negative full-time overall talk caused by a poor team performance.

The player achieved a rating of 6.7 or 6.8 and was given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, is a young player, is a new player who was making one of his first few appearances for your team or was returning from a long term injury.

Unlucky today

I appreciate your efforts, you were just unlucky today.

You were unlucky today, but it was a good effort.

The player achieved a rating of 6.7 or below, but was not given a “no pressure” pre-match talk, is not a young player, is not a new player who was making one of his first few appearances for your team and was not returning from a long term injury.

Unacceptable second half performance (if available)

I’m disappointed in your second half performance.

The drop in your second half performance was unacceptable.

Unhappy

I’m not pleased with what I saw from you today.

Defenders - I’m not happy with your defensive work.

Midfielders - I’m not happy with your playmaking efforts.

Strikers - I’m not happy with your finishing.

Further Reading

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater tactical knowledge and understanding.

Coaching the Tiki Taka - learn about the tiki taka style in detail.

The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders - learn how to think like a football manager.

About Us

Welcome to Guide to Football Manager - the comprehensive guide to Sports Interactive's popular football management game. Learn how to become a top manager and master tactics, training, team talks and more. We are a Sports Interactive Approved Fansite, but the guide is unofficial.

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