Park The Bus Tactic FM24: Time Wasting Guide

Can’t stop conceding late goals? Finding your team losing valuable points at the very end of the match?

Well, looks like you need to Park the Bus!

Conceding a late equalizer in the dying minutes of the game is not acceptable by any means. So you need to come up with the perfect time-wasting strategy to kill the game and waste those precious minutes.

Park the Bus Tactic in FM24 is the tactical setup that prevents the opposition from finding the rhythm in the game and wasting precious time to get a goal. The term was coined ‘Park the Bus’ after Jose Mourinho’s famous first spell with Chelsea.

In today’s article, we’ll lay out all the simple tactical tweaks that could push the game to your favor. Behold, the perfect time-wasting FM guide!

Park The Bus Tactic FM24: Formation

To Park the bus, we’ll have to let go of all or some of our attacking outlets and focus more on defense. That said, you need to alter the formation to get an extra man in the midfield to support the defense. 

You can also try to substitute an attacker and bring in an additional defender to make a 3-defender formation for more defensive solidity in FM. There are a lot of ways to tweak the formation to favor your time-wasting strategy.

A 4-4-2 Park the bus formation with Burnley FC.
I prefer a 4-4-2 defensive formation to park the bus with my Burnley save, FM24.

According to the preset Park the Bus tactics in FM24, you can either pick 4-4-2, 4-2-4 DM Wide, or go for a toned-down 4-3-3 DM WIde. They are all highly defensive tactics good for defending a narrow lead in important cup matches. 

Moreover, Park the bus tactics are implanted in almost all the leagues, be it the Premier League, or the lower leagues in FM24.

Whichever formation you pick, the instructions are going to be more or less the same. The ultimate goal is to prevent the opposition to get a sniff at the goal by any means necessary. 

Park The Bus Tactic FM24: Team Instructions

Every single instruction set to Park the Bus in FM is intended to slow the game. FM24 Park the Bus tactic is designed with small time-wasting tricks to tick down the time, frustrating the opponent in the process. 

Adopting a defensive or very defensive team mentality in FM is a prerequisite for playing Park the Bus football. 

Let’s have a closer look at the instructions set for a time-wasting tactic:

Park the Bus team instructions for a 4-4-2 defensive tactic with Burnley.
Setting the time-wasting instructions to Whenever Possible will ensure your players do their best to waste time at every opportunity.

FM24 Park The Bus: In Possession Instructions

There are two ways to approach time-wasting with possession. If you have a technically gifted squad who are good with the ball, you can opt to pass the ball around in order to waste time. This will frustrate the opposition and draw more fouls which can work in your favor!

However, most teams looking to waste time are playing the underdogs. So, it’s best to get the ball as far up the pitch without engaging too many men forward. 

Look to pass the ball into space to the wide players to carry the ball forward to kill time. If you’re confident about your forward’s pace, try hitting early crosses in the final third to see if you can score another goal!

Here’s how you should set up the team instruction to Park the Bus while in possession:

Approach PlayPass Into Space
Attacking WidthFairly Narrow
Passing DirectnessSlightly More Direct
Time WastingWhenever Possible 
Creative FreedomBe More Disciplined
Set PiecePlay for Set Pieces
Final ThirdHit Early Crosses

It’s very strictly implied that no player should try anything funny with these sets of instructions. The players have to give the ultimate test of teamwork and concentration in these last few moments and keep it discipline at the back. 

After winning the ball, the forward players will like to carry the ball as far up the pitch as possible. Or they will try playing direct balls to the forwards playing in a fairly narrow width. Anything that can waste some precious seconds. 

The tendency to dive and win free-kicks is also highly encouraged in this style of play.

FM24 Park The Bus: In Transition Instructions

The transitional periods of the games are the trickiest part of a Park the Bus playing style. FM allows the players quite a number of good options to waste time with small, but highly effective instructions. 

You have the option to ask your keeper to Slow down the pace after getting hold of the ball. Similarly, if your team wins the ball, you can tell them to take a more lenient approach instead of countering.

Team instructions to park the bus in transition with Burnley FC.
Sitting deep helps to restrict the defensive gap in Parking the bus in FM24.

Also, after losing the ball, instead of going gung-ho on pressing, the players must regroup and close down any space left behind. Having a compact defense is the priority over winning the ball back. 

Playing instructions for transitional play in Park the Bus system:

When Possession Has Been LostRegroup
Goalkeeper In PossessionSlow Down Pace
Distribution TypeTake Long Kicks

FM24 Park The Bus: Out of Possession Instructions

Sean Dyche is a household name to any team flirting with relegation. And why wouldn’t they love him? When things get tough, and you need survival, Sean Dyche is your man. 

His low block, compact, no-nonsense tactic has got Burnley through many stormy nights. And all for good reasons. 

Playing a low-block in FM24 forces the opposition to look to play in the wide areas. And with capable defenders with good aerial presence and tremendous concentration, you can easily deal with that. 

The low block defensive line to helps to force the opposition to the wide areas of the pitch to park the bus in Football Manager.
Maintaining a low block defense and forcing oppositions to the wide areas to cut down attacking threats.

Players in a low-block defense ignore any pressing opportunities and focus on maintaining defensive shape. This makes it hard for the opposition to break through the middle. 

Two forwards in a 4-4-2 diamond formation might try to occasionally press the opposition midfield with it, but they will mostly look to stay in formation.

Out of Possession instructions for Park the Bus tactics:

Defensive LineLow Block
Line of EngagementLower
Trigress PressLess Often
TacklingGet Stuck In
Defensive LineDrop Off More
Pressing TrapTrap Outside

Be very careful about the opposition set piece taker! If they have good dribblers and a set piece taker like Ward-Prowse, your players should consider staying on their feet instead of Getting Stuck In. 

Park The Bus Tactic FM24: Player Roles & Duties

No Nonsense. That’s the name of the game.

Normally, in a match, you look to find the perfect balance between attack and defense by assigning different duties. But for Parking the bus, forget standard rules. 

If you’re defending a one-goal lead, make sure to have all your players other than your lone forward on either support or defend duty. Having two No-nonsense Center Backs is a wise thing to do, especially if you don’t have too much faith in their technical capabilities. 

You can also loosen up a bit if you are leading by 2 or more goals. Choosing the right time to start parking the bus is very important. Parking the bus too early in FM will invite unnecessary pressure early on and tire out your defense. 

So it’s best to keep the dirty tricks saved up for the last 10-15 minutes of the match. 

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Park The Bus Tactic FM24: Attributes in Focus

To be a part of a well-cohesive low-block tactic, one must have a particular set of attributes. Parking the bus in FM24 requires high levels of Teamwork, Anticipation, Concentration, Work rate, and Stamina. 

So, it’s very important that you pick players who have great mental and physical attributes for a tactic such as this. 

Remember, defending is the main focus of parking the bus. So picking up a team full of disciplined individuals with high teamwork will make sure that they stick and play out together as a team. High work rate, stamina, and concentration can see them play out the entire 90 minutes without losing focus and consistency. 

Time-Wasting Tricks

These are cheap tricks. But these “cheap” tricks can lead your team to gold. 

Here’s how you can apply them in the game. 

Take Short Corners

In the dying moments of the game, nothing enrages the opponents more than a short corner attempt to waste more time. The spectacle of holding the ball around the corner flag to waste as much time as possible is cheered if you’re on the winning side. 

Do that!

The short corner kick ‘exploit’ in Football Manager is a great way to keep control of the match.

Set your corner-taking instruction to ‘short’ corner. Then pick a strong player with good balance, agility, and dribbling to receive the ball. He’ll be able to kill some seconds of the game. 

Short corner routine in parking the bus tactic in FM24
Setting a short corner routine near the end of the match helps to waste some precious seconds while parking the bus in FM24.

Late Substitution

Late substitution can be another highly effective way to waste time in FM. Keep hold of some of your benched players for the ending moments of the match. Let them off one by one on the pitch. 

DO NOT sub 3 players or more at once! You’re losing time-wasting opportunities with multiple subs. 

Having late subs in the match adds fresh legs to the defense, improving the overall concentration of the team. 

They might be too late to make any real impact on the match. But they surely play their part!

Getting Fouled

Go through your team again. Do you have players with good agility and dribbling? 

If they do, then don’t hesitate to instruct them to ‘Dribble More Often’. With this instruction, and your team actively looking to play for set pieces, it can be a deadly time-wasting combo. 

With the clock ticking, and the urgency higher than ever, the opposition will play hard to win the ball. In doing so, they are only going to help you waste time taking free kicks. 

Less Direct Passing

Only follow this if you have players who are good with the ball. 

Playing a low-tempo tactic on FM with lower passing directness means that the players will pass around the ball rather than looking to progress it up the pitch. 

In doing so, you get to keep possession and kill time at the same time. 

Most underdog teams won’t be able to pull it off, so we recommend only trying it with ballers. 

Shoot On Sight

Asking your player to shoot on sight will result in a high number of shots. Most of the shots are going to be off-target. But that only means that the opposition will need to restart the match more often, shaving off a few more seconds. 

How to Break Down Park the Bus Tactics in FM

The key to breaking a Park the Bus tactic is by overloading the box with attacking players and constantly overlapping with attacking fullbacks.

For this, you need inverted forwards who will cut inside and pull the opposition defenders toward them. The fullbacks need to be competent in making pinpoint crosses, while also making intelligent runs in spaces. 

The goal should be to try and stretch the defense as much as possible to find gaps. Especially towards the wide areas. Runs from overlapping wingbacks create width in the attack, forcing defenders to come out to block crosses. 

As for the midfielders, a Mezzala in an attacking role can easily get into the half-spaces and dish out some crossing chances. 

You must also have players in your team who are really good at one-touch passes and have great off-the-ball movements. The focus of the team should be on getting the ball inside the box as much as possible in hopes of converting a few of them. 

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Overlap with Fullbacks
  • Adopt a fairly narrow width
  • Work the ball in the box
  • High tempo

Remember, you need to have a technically gifted side to break a low-block defensive team as it’s really difficult to do so otherwise. 


Is parking the bus a good tactic?

Parking the bus is not an entertaining brand of football. But it is highly effective in defending a lead. The opposition is not allowed much room to exploit while parking the bus. This can really frustrate them. 

What is the advantage of Park the bus?

Parking the bus create a solid defensive shape, making it hard to break for attackers and midfielders. It’s highly advantageous against superior opponents and highly effective in defending a goal. 

Is Park the Bus Effective?

Yes! Parking the bus significantly reduces the chance of conceding a goal. Parking the bus also helps in a higher clean sheet rate and defensive solidity. 


That’s the guide on Park the Bus Tactic FM24. Hopefully, you’ll be able to better edge out last-minute dramas. Parking the bus won’t guarantee 100% safety from conceding. But it’ll surely make life harder for the opposition attacker.


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