If you are seeking for some Football Manager 2012 tips and hints then I advise you to read FM2012 hints and tips post.
In this post of Southampton story I described the situation with the bad starting schedule in Premier League and very poor morale after the matches with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal... Afterwards I managed to increase morale of my players and got up to the 11th position in Premier League.
Certainly it was the big problem when the team is on the last position of the league table and all players have 'Very Poor' morale. Coping with this was not trivial task. Of course, the main method of making a player mood better - winning games. But it's like an enchanted circle because it's very hard to win when you already have 'Very Poor' morale :)
I used the following methods for increasing morale of Southampton players:
Team talks before, during and after matchThe most effective scheme as for me to do talks in the next way:
- before a match: 'You can win the game today' for all or/and 'Having faith' for distinct players.
- in half-time: the same as before match or 'Encourage'.
- after a match: 'Pleased', 'Delighted' in case of positive result or nothing if we loose.
Player interaction: praising and criticizingIt's when you talk to player about his Recent Form. This I do only for those players who have good Determination value (at least 14). Because usually footballers with low determination react on comments poorly (their morale decreases). Meantime determined players have morale grown up if you are fair in talking about his form. It's important to be fair! Do not praise player in bad form and vice versa!
Offering new contractMorale will go up if player accepts a new contract with higher wage or bonuses.
Talks with other manager before matchSuch talks influence mood of your players. And morale level changes depending on player's determination as well. If you claim that you are going to beat opponent manager determined part of your squad will be fired up to the game and some of undetermined player will be unsure and nervous about the match.
Squad rotationAt last if you are winning a game make some substitutions allowing to leverage morale few other players from bench as well.
I hope these tips and hints about coping with poor morale will help you in your way to become FM 2008 champions :)