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Defending the 2 v 1 Counter | When to Press? (10-P2)

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

This Level 1, opposed practice is the 2nd part of Theme 10: Defensive Pressure. We begin with 2 players at each end who must combine before attacking a single defender.

Set Up:

12 Players

15-25 Mins

30x40 Yds


3 Bib Sets

2 Minis

The player who plays a bounce pass must then support the attacking player from the opposite side aware of the offside line.

Defending players decide how and when to apply pressure, with both pairs attacking at the same time.

Key Coaching Points

Tactical | Know how to isolate attacking players (weaker foot/passing lines)


Player Questions

How to defend the counter attack - Summary

There are several ways that players can defend against a counter attack:

  1. Maintain a compact and organised defensive shape: By keeping players close together and maintaining a compact shape, it's easier to defend against counter attacks because there are fewer spaces for the opposing team to exploit.

  2. Stay goal-side of the attacker: When an opponent is attacking on the counter, it's important for defenders to stay goal-side of the attacker, meaning that they should position themselves between the attacker and the goal. This makes it difficult for the attacker to receive the ball or shoot at goal.

  3. Keep good communication and positioning: Good communication between defenders is essential for defending against counter attacks. Players should communicate with each other to ensure that they are covering the right spaces and marking the right players.

  4. Practice transition drills: It's important for teams to practice defending against counter attacks in training, so that players can develop the skills and understanding necessary to defend effectively in a game situation. Transition drills, which focus on the transition from attack to defence, can be particularly useful for this purpose.

  5. Use tactical fouls as a last resort: If a counter attack is developing and the defender has no other options, they may choose to commit a tactical foul in order to disrupt the attack and give their team time to regroup. However, it's important to be careful with this tactic, as it can result in a free kick or even a yellow or red card if it's deemed dangerous or reckless by the referee.

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