FM 2013 Guide – Team talks, how to get the right reaction

FM 2013

written by Darren Smith

fm13 team talks, top image

Hey guys and welcome to our FM 2013 Guide on team talks, how to get the right reaction. There are many mysteries in Football Manager 2013, parts of the game can be effected by so many minor actions, but team talks are undoubtedly one of the worst to master.

While researching this FM 2013 guide on team talks, I considered how best to approach the subject and how I could guide you through such a tough part of the game. There are so many different scenarios that could effect your approach to team talks, I couldn’t possibly list them all, so instead we’ll focus on my favorites and try to list how they could be applied to your game.

Before we dive straight in, I have a few handy tips to remember.

  • Your assistant manager has the right approach 8/10 times, providing he has decent a ‘motivation’ attribute. So trust his judgement and experiment between letting him do the team talk and taking it yourself to learn what works.
  • I’d never recommend not doing a team talk, saying nothing to the players won’t motivate them but could have a negative impact on their performance.
  • Don’t panic if your players fail to react during team talks. Sometimes you can’t raise their morale much more and no reaction is better than a bad reaction (9 times out of 10 anyway.)
  • When on a poor run of form, don’t beat your players down and be negative, try and encourage your players and during extremely tough matches relax them.
  • When everything is rosy and the wins keep piling in, be more demanding, be honest with your squad and let them know they are favorites.
  • When playing in Europe or any two legged competition, if you have a good lead from the first leg always ‘calmly’ tell the squad not to get complacent.
  • If you expect victory hands down and it doesn’t happen, assertively inform your players they were disappointing.
  • Try and be supportive, encouraging and positive with your players when possible. The more experienced FMer knows this isn’t always the way forward, but for anyone struggling with team talks, its better to work this way, you’ll create yourself far less problems. It only takes a few poor matches and bad man management to destroy the teams confidence and morale, but you can manage the level it drops by encouraging your squad.

There we have some very important key points to remember. I personally look at team talks in different categories and sections. The categories being relax, encourage, focus, expect and for full-time/half-time disappointed and happy. The sections being pre-match, half-time, full-time and substitutes. We’ll split the next part into these sections and explain the categories.

FM 2013 Pre-match team talks

Relax: You should try and relax your players against very tough opponents away from home. Only use this when you really expect a thumping though.

Relaxing team talk example – ‘Calmly’ say ‘Nobody expects us to get a result so just go out there and enjoy playing without any pressure on you.’

Encourage: To be used in many different scenarios such as when the game is 50/50, if you’re on a tough run of form and want to boost the squad, during any home match where you don’t want to put too much pressure on the team but expect something from the game.

Encouraging team talk examples – ‘Passionately’ say ‘Come on lads, show everyone what you can do!’ (Use this for 50/50 matches.)

‘Assertively’ say ‘Go out there and give these fans their moneys worth.’ (Use at home as alternative to more demanding team talk.)

Focus: Only required when entering the second leg with a lead, focus the players to make sure they don’t get complacent and throw the match away. Do this in a ‘calm’ voice.

Expect: While on a great run of form you should demand victory from your players against similar opponents. And you should always demand victory against much easier opponents unless on a very poor run.

Demanding team talk examples – ‘Passionately’ say ‘We are the favorites here, so go on out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for!’ (Good against similar standard opponents while at home.)

FM 2013 Half-time team talks

Disappointed: You should show your disappointment if losing or playing badly when you expect victory, the players may just need to be kicked back into gear. Be careful when using this though, I’d check your assistants recommendation first, if he doesn’t suggest showing your disappointment it may have a negative effect as you could be misreading the teams performance.

Disappointed team talk examples – ‘Assertively’ say ‘I expect to see a much better showing from you in the second half.’

Focus: To be used when the team have done OK, but not playing to their best and hold a narrow lead or are drawing, I use this when my players look a little lazy and lethargic, but I can’t be negative. Usually tell the team they are doing well but can do even better.

Encourage: Use this when the match is on a knifes edge and your team are struggling for form and morale. Also good when you’re drawing and don’t expect to lose but also doubt you’ll win.

Encourage team talk examples – ‘Passionately’ say ‘Keep going out there and you can still win today.’ (Use to tell the players what you expect without putting too much pressure on them.)

‘Passionately’ say ‘I know we are underdogs here, but go out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for.’ (When you expect little from the game, but want to boost players morale.)

‘Calmly’ say ‘You have been unlucky so far.’ (Use this when when you are losing narrowly but the team has played above your expectations.)

Happy: My recommendation is to use this when you’re winning only unless you manage a newly promoted side that isn’t really expected to win many games. Tell the players how well they have done.

Happy team talk example – ‘Assertively’ say ‘I’m happy with your performance so far, keep it up.’ (This will delight the players but also encourage them to keep going.)

FM 2013 Full-time team talks

Disappointed: Very simple, if your team played badly and the result was under par, tell them you’re disappointed, but be certain they played badly first. Telling them off when its not warranted can be costly in terms of morale. I’d suggest using the assertive tone here.

Complacency: Only use this when the side won but not by the margin you’d expect. It will refocus them for the next match, maybe use the calm tone if available because you don’t want it misconstrued as a telling off, they did win after all.

Unlucky: Use this approach when you were massive underdogs and lost by some margin, this is a way of not letting the teams morale drop despite a thrashing. Or you could do it when the side drew to a similar level opponent after playing very well.

Well done: If you won by more than a one goal margin always congratulate the players and give them a pat on the back. Also do this for matches when you came back from behind or drew against very tough opponents.

FM 2013 motivating substitutes

Any match can be changed through a carefully selected substitute, I can’t tell you amount of points I’ve gained through this method. But just throwing a player on the pitch isn’t enough, also use the team talks below for all substitutes to fire them up.

  • ‘Assertively’ or ‘passionately’ say ‘I think there’s a lot to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.’ (For anyone who may need encouragement.)
  • ‘Passionately’ say ‘Show me what you’ve got today, I want to see a good performance.’ (Use this when you need the sub to perform, but only use on key players that are on form already.)
  • ‘Passionately’ say ‘I have faith in you, you can make the difference.’ (this is for every sub when you are losing.)

OK that is a lot to digest, so we’ll end the guide there. I hope you enjoyed the read and this guide can help you start winning more games in FM 2013. Until the next post I look forward to your comments.

Darren is the co-owner of Football Manager Story. He merged with Johnny Karp in 2011 after moving from his own successful site named Allthatisfootballmanager. A football fanatic, whether it be the real thing or video games. He has been playing Fifa and Football Manager for donkey’s years. Deriving from the North East Darren supported Scarborough. However turned into a dedicated Newcastle fan from the age of 7. He enjoys watching Soccer Saturday and any live games. However Football Manager is his real passion. You can contact Darren at darrensmith360[at]

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Gaurav Chaddah

Very nice guide mate, I haven’t had much trouble this year but if I do will refer to this, thanks.


I’ve had much trouble with team talks this year and I seem to be on a totally different wave-length to the team. I can’t remember the last team talk where nobody reacted negatively. So thanks for this!


Great guide Darren! This is really useful.


what about the derby games? should we use demanding or encouraging?


Please Anwer! Great guide! But wha’t do you think about inidivudal talks?


and substitutes when winning 2-0, for example?


Nice job mate.helpfel.keep up the good work