In the Premier League, managers tend to coach a defined team formation and style of play. That is largely because the wealth of clubs at that level means they can sign the players they need to fit their chosen formation.

In the EFL, life is somewhat different and financial restrictions means that managers have to be more adaptable and often don’t have the players that fit their preferred formation. That means that managers have to be more flexible and adapt the formation to suit the players available to them. Those that fail to adapt ultimately lose their job and there are many examples of that in every division of the EFL. Every owner and every manager will say they want to play attractive attacking football but at the end of the day results matter and if a team is not winning on a regular basis, then attendances will fall as will commercial revenues.

One of the hardest things for a manager is to set up his team in a formation that is not his preferred method of play and for too many it goes against the grain to have to compromise and adapt but sometimes short-term change does at least provide the breathing space to build a squad over time to ultimately play in the style the manager wants.

The reality is that if the players at a manager’s disposal don’t fit the style of play, then the ultimate loser is the manager getting the sack and not the players.