Best FM 2015 Tactics: Lower League 4-1-4-1

FM 2015 Downloads

written by Darren Smith

Lower League 4-1-4-1

Hey guys and welcome to our best FM 2015 tactics series. After suffering far too many shock results and away day thrashings to Chelsea I set about creating a stable tactic, so where better to start than one created last year. My untouchable 4-5-1 was very successful during early patches so I set about re-creating it with some tweaks and landed on this flat 4-1-4-1.

All our best FM 2015 tactics are tested until we feel happy with the end result, but they will only work with the right players. This tactic for instance was tested with Bournemouth, Bristol City and the MK Dons. But you could implement this into other leagues, providing you posses the right players to fill the roles. All testing took place on patch 15.2, we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t guarantee this working in future patches.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Formation

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, mentality and shape

The strategy should stay as control for most home matches and the easy away days, only change to counter for tough matches and uncertain away days. Note when you use counter the quality of play will drop, but it may help scrape tough results. You will of course need to monitor this as it may vary slightly for your side.

Team shape is flexible as the formation needs an injection of unpredictability while still remaining secure defensively.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, formation

At first glance you may be concerned by the lone striker, using the role false nine could suggest no one attacking the defensive line which was a concern. However, the wingers use that open space in front of them as does the box to box midfielder and advanced playmaker, the false nine drags defenders out of position leaving gaps to exploit and is key to build up play.

In the previous patch this was a 4-5-1 with ball winning midfielder instead of the half back, but despite domination we were caught out, switching to DMC address’ the balance as he fills in so the DC’s can split to fill the void left by those marauding wing backs.

This tactic can take some time to get going. Do not expect instant impact, in the beginning you may feel like the striker is positioned out of the game, you may struggle to create and take chances also. However, the more suitable your side the quicker you’ll get going.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Instructions

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, instructions

It isn’t hard to maintain possession with a flat 4-1-4-1, but I use short passing anyway as lumping forward too often won’t work, the lone striker would get isolated and this is all about the build up play. With that in mind I want my players to run the ball forward as well as work it into the box, we have to combat long shots which is always an issue with such a formation. That is why I set a lot of the attacking minded players to shoot less often.

I want my complete wing backs to advance past the wingers drawing defenders out of position so look for overlap is selected. With so many men behind the ball it makes sense to pressure the opposition with close down more.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Roles

GK: goalkeeper – defend – Nothing specific required, just your standard keeper.

DR/DL: complete wing back – attack – Very important players, they overlap on the wings and get crosses into the box. Speed is very important, stamina too and the obvious defensive attributes. But the better these guys are at crossing and dribbling the more chances you will create and the more goals you will score.

DC’s: central defender – defend – Nothing specific required other than your general defensive attributes. Good heading and jumping will really help with the excessive crosses we endure in FM15. Note acceleration is a real help, I wouldn’t select slow defenders and if facing issue with balls over the top set player instructions of close down far less.

DMC: half back – defend – This guys primary objective is to win back possession and chase down the opposition but he starts each defensive move by joining the back to two to form a three. While we need good defensive attributes, passing, vision and good physicals are a real bonus. (Instructions – shoot less often.)

MC: box to box midfielder – support – We want someone with acceleration, dribbling and great work rate for this role. He will run up and down the pitch, good shooting ability will be a bonus and you ideally need the complete midfielder, one that can attack as well as defend, but I’d take the attacking play over defence. (Instructions – shoot less often.)

MC: advanced playmaker – attack – Your creative outlet through the middle, we are looking for passing ability, technique, vision and good dribbling ideally supported by decent pace and acceleration. This guy needs to move the ball forward then pick out your striker and wide men. (Instructions – shoot less often, get further forward.)

MR/ML: winger – attack – Very important, these guys must be fast, skillful and competent dribblers. The better they can cross the more goals you’ll score. A second rate winger will see your performance drop drastically. However, it is worth noting you can use inside forwards. I found that Stanislas and Ritchie cut inside off their own accord despite the role of winger been assigned and caused problems doing so. They could however take a fair amount of time to adapt to this tactic. (Instructions – shoots less often, more direct passes.)

ST: false nine – support – I can’t overstate this, your false nine must be an all rounder. He is on his own, so should have no less than 13 for acceleration to move away from defenders. I”d put speed above aerial ability but both would be good. This guy needs to get involved in build up play and may try the occasional shot from range so appropriate attributes would help. Above all else, he needs time to adapt, Wilson didn’t play well initially for me, but then couldn’t stop scoring. (Instructions – shoot less often.)

Best FM 2015 Tactics: In Action

The back four should stay solid while the half back sits just in front and will follow the ball. The B2B and advanced playmaker stagger slightly closing down anyone that may approach. The wingers will close down but also track back to help defend, in this scenario the ball went to the wing where both wing back and winger were on the opposition like a rash from both sides.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, defensive positioning

The screenshot below shows my F9 receiving the ball deep. This happens often and while he holds up play the wingers, both MC’s and complete wing backs bomb forward. We then see a relay of pass and move, making it hard for the opposition to track and remain tight, this pulls players out of position.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, build out from back

In the opposition area both wingers and ST tend to sit just off the defence waiting for a pass. This makes it hard for the back four to close my MC’s down and offers them space to roam. You can see plenty of passing opportunities below. The image below also demonstrates why MC’s with the ability to dribble work well as they are left in this situation often.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, attacking movement

The screenshot below shows another method of attack, the ST drops behind the wingers to pick up possession. As a result the DC’s are left with an awkward decision, leave the striker in space or close him down and leave gaps in behind. Electing option two saw my advanced playmaker clean through to score and he wasn’t the only passing option.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, ST movement

Results with Bournemouth

Cup results

While we were caught out against Huddersfield in the Carling Cup, we showed promise in the FA Cup beating City and Liverpool.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, cup results

Championship results

This tactic just clicked with Bournemouth, we had the perfect players and a good sized squad. Results show this as we barely conceded and scored in abundance. We suffered some bad injuries near the seasons end hence the dip in form.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, league results 1

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, league results 2

Championship League table

Setting a new record for points total is testament to the tactics suitability.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, table

Squad

My backline were superb. As were the wingers, both Ritchie and Stanislas cut inside from their wide positions and this led to goals, 40 between them. Callum Wilson was my false nine and he setup almost as many as he scored, showing how this tactic works. Surman and Tariq finished as my best MC duo.

fm 2015 tactic, flat 4-1-4-1, squad

Signings

Shane Ferguson on loan as backup on the left wing. Humam Tariq for advanced playmaker though he didn’t get the work permit till nearer Christmas. Both Donadel and Keita were used in rotation at DMC.

Important Notes

  • I prepared this tactic through pre-season. Training was set to team cohesion and high intensity throughout pre-season and match prep as tactics only. Through the season I changed to balanced training. The match prep should change based on your next opponent and what may have been a problem in the last match, but a good assistants advice can be trusted here.
  • Every tactic needs time. I didn’t feel like Bournemouth were in full flow for the first 5 or 6 matches.
  • You must have the right players to use this tactic, I have already highlighted what is required. If it doesn’t work, then chances are its your selection or team talks that are the issue.
  • For opposition instructions just ask your assistant manager to set them every match, he tends to know best. Your AM won’t always be right, but unless you know what to look for in his errors, leave the instructions to him. Without these instructions been done properly the tactic won’t work. Make sure you have someone competent setting these instructions.
  • There are no specific pitch dimensions I’d recommend.
  • This tactic has been tested in patch 15.2, I can’t guarantee it working past that point.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Lower League 4-1-4-1

If you like what you see, then just click the download image below and download the file from mediafire, then follow the instructions.

FM 2014 Download

1) Once download is complete, move the file to the following folder documents>sports interactive>football manager 2015>tactics

2) Now load the game as normal and enter the tactics screen.

3) In the tactics screen, click the tactic you currently have loaded (situated next to the strategy setting) then select manage tactics from the drop-down as shown below

getting to import screen

import

4) Select ‘Lower League 4-1-4-1’ and click load. As shown below.

load

select and ok1

5) Now click the drop-down arrow next to the old tactic name and select my tactic from the top (see screenshot below. You may need to click continue before it appears.

select tactic

Well that is my best FM 2015 tactic to date. Thanks for reading and please do share this post on Facebook and Twitter…sharing our site will help us grow and I’d really appreciate it. For those trying this out I hope it works as well for you as it did for me.

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]googlemail.com

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John
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John

By any chance have you continued into the 2nd season? I also started with Bournmohth using this tactic and into the Orem now and a bit stuck on signings so if you did continue who did you sign?

Cheers

Darren
Guest
Darren

I did continue yes. Had Odegaard and Jovic joining in January with Gaston Romero, Andrew Robertson, Xulu, Rotariu, Leali and Patrick Roberts joining in the summer.

Iwan Skema
Guest
Iwan Skema

for your opinion, this tactic is suitable for lower league such as conference south and north..

Darren
Guest
Darren

You’d have to test it at that level to be sure but I would have thought so, with the right players of course.

varun
Guest
varun

if you were starting a save with liverpool which tactic would you look to start the save with and build around in the summer? This one, the wicked wings one or creare a brand new one? Or use the tinkerman diamond?

Darren
Guest
Darren

I’d probably give Tinkerman’s ago.

Chip
Guest
Chip

Hi Darren,

Hope you are well.

In your third paragraph you have confused me a little:

“The strategy should stay as control for most home matches and the easy away days, only change to counter for tough matches and uncertain away days. Note when you use control the quality of play will drop, but it may help scrape tough results. You will of course need to monitor this as it may vary slightly for your side.”

Do you mean “note when you use COUNTER” instead of “note when you use CONTROL”?

I’m just wondering because I would expect the team to play a higher quality game when using control.

Overall, a good looking tactic. I look forward to giving it a try.

Thanks

Darren
Guest
Darren

You’re correct Chip. That was a mistake which I have just corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thanks for sharing this tactic. I decided to give it a go also using Bournemouth, and so far it’s going very well out of curiosity, what happened to Marc Pugh in your game, I currently have him outplaying Stanislas at left midfield.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I sold Pugh as didn’t feel he would work for me.

Chris s
Guest
Chris s

I cannot open this file

Darren
Guest
Darren

The instructions do not tell you to open the file, they tell you move the file. Please re-read the instructions and it should work. Unless of course you mean you cannot download the file, that is different.

Chris s
Guest
Chris s

Hiya Darren no still cannot get it to work or download or anything is there any other way you can help?

Darren
Guest
Darren

I can but I need you to answer the question very clearly so I know where the problem is. When you click the link to download the tactic can you then download the tactic from mediafire onto your computer? At what point are you having trouble and please provide a bit of detail.

Chris s
Guest
Chris s

I downloaded it from mediafire then it said i could not open file as caused a file error thats as much as i know really rather frustrating really looks a good tactic i,m currently with grimsby in league 2 now but struggling

Johnny Karp
Guest

Darren already told you that you don’t have to open the file, you have to move it into the folder that is mentioned in the instructions.

Chris s
Guest
Chris s

Just to let you know i,ve managed to get tactic and will let you know how i get on thanks again for your help.

Atanas
Guest
Atanas

Very good tactic! I started with Bournemouth, too and won the Sky Bet Championship. But for me the F9 was Brett Pitman he was incredible.. he scored 31 goals in the league and became top goalscorer and scored 4 more goals in other competitions. I reached Semi Final in the Capital One Cup which was fantastic.
Did you continue to play with this tactic in BPL ? And what players did you buy ? If you can recommend me strong CB will be great! Congratulations again for the tactic :)

Darren
Guest
Darren

Thanks glad it worked for you. I continued to use it in the BPL for a few seasons. As for signings the players I get most likely won’t be available in your game, but I got Xulu for DC.

HarveyDG
Guest
HarveyDG

I know you stated that this tactic was tested on 15.1.4 Darren, but have you used it on the latest patch at all and if so was it successful?

Darren
Guest
Darren

It is still successful on the latest patch yes. That being 15.2.

HarveyDG
Guest
HarveyDG

Might start up my own save with Bournemouth using this tactic in that case then, thanks mate.

Poka Hontas
Guest
Poka Hontas

Hi Darren.Thank you for the tactic.
Unfortunately it is not working for the hungarian league.Im still looking for something for a smaller team, with my team i managed to finish 15th and close to relegation with 2 wins, 5 draws, 17 losses with this tac.
So it is not for all the small teams for sure.

edit: ofc the championship is still not over, but not a real chance for avoid relegation if i stick to this.

Darren
Guest
Darren

This tactic was made for English teams and tested as such so couldn’t say how it would perform abroad.

Dhika Kamesywara
Guest
Dhika Kamesywara

it worked like a charm for me. I played persikab in Nuswantara League (3rd tier league in Indonesia) and I got promoted to Indonesian Super League (top league in Indonesia) in only 3 years time, without relying much to the transfer. in fact I only bought 4 players in a span of 3 years. thank you so much

Michael
Guest
Michael

Hi Darren, using this tactic with Leyton Orient. Having picked it up in december of the season im in, we’ve gone from being 19th to 2nd in the championship and it looks like we could be in with a very good shot at getting promoted. However something that is worrying me is that we seem to be only winning 1-0 games at home, whilst away we score a little bit more frequently. are there any tweeks youd recommend making to help us score more goals at home.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Hi, if you are winning I would just accept the victories. TBH if you change anything to try and score more goals likelihood is you’ll end up conceding more. But I have not tested on the new patch to comment properly on what could be changed.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Yeah might have to, getting promoted would be an incredible achievement so a victory is a victory. Added an instruction and we lost 1-0 for the first time in 15 games

JADAM
Guest
JADAM

Hi Darren, Currently playing as Staines in the Vannarma Confernce (started in Vannarma Conference South), got promoted thanks to your tactic in the first season without signing a single player. Now im 12 games into the season and im still unbeaten (9 draws though) using only the players i had when i came to the club.

So thank you for this amazing tactic, who seem to work even if you don’t have the right players for it.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Great, glad its worked for you JADAM and hope you continue to enjoy some success.

Tom Moxey
Guest
Tom Moxey

Enjoying this tactic Darren! Sitting 4th in the Championship with Brentford. I’m slightly worried though as I really struggle against top sides, even with counter. Any other tips for this or is it just down to the quality of players I have?

Darren
Guest
Darren

Glad you are enjoying it Tom. I can understand why you’re struggling against top team though as you’ll be getting a barrage of attacks due tot he defensive formation and theres only so long you can withstand quality players…may be worth looking at another tactic for those game maybe.

This was not a problem in the previous patch (which this tactic was created for) but in the recent one it is and the only solution I found was to change tactics when necessary.

Tom Moxey
Guest
Tom Moxey

Awesome, cheers mate. I’ll have a look, or maybe attempt to create my own ‘away tactic’ and see how that goes!

Alexandre Silva
Guest
Alexandre Silva

Hi mate. Pls help me. I cant download the tactic by image like you said Darren.

Alexandre Silva
Guest
Alexandre Silva

Problem solved

Darvey
Guest
Darvey

Does this still work on the latest patch? 15.3.2?

Darren
Guest
Darren

I haven’t tried it in the latest patch so couldn’t say I’m afraid.

OmJhody Junaedi
Guest

#GREAT!

I’ve use this tactics. Works very amazing on my Portsmouth team.
Thank You so much Darren

Mario
Guest
Mario

Thanks a lot for this tactic Darren!!!!! and such a thorough and detailed explanation.

Darren
Guest
Darren

No problem hope it works for you.

jonas
Guest
jonas

when i to use it, i put it into the right folder (documents/sports interactive/football manager 2016/tactics) but when i try to open it as described in my game, an error message saying “the file could not be imported” does anyone know how i can fix this?

its a .fmf file :)

Darren
Guest
Darren

This tactic is for FM15 so it won’t load on FM16… I am working on a version for FM16 though, watch this space, or hte homepage to be more exact.

jonas
Guest
jonas

yeah, i realized that after much frustration :D but thank you for the quick answer anyways!

do you have an idea when this new “updated version will be available?

Darren
Guest
Darren

I don’t have a date yet no but ideally after this weekend or during the next.

Aleksandar
Guest
Aleksandar

Thank you, just thank you. This saved my club, I am forever grateful to you :)