Pressing to dictate – Practice


This practice works on the ability of an attacking three to press from the front and force the play in a particular direction.


Set up with the area divided into thirds, with a wide channel on each side. The attacking three set up against a back three and goalkeeper. If you have enough players, target players can be added for the defence to play into.


Defenders must split as if about to receive from a goal kick. Play starts with the goalkeeper, who must pass out to one of the wide defenders. Work with the front three to press and close off passing lanes, forcing the defence to play down the line. If the attackers win possession, they can look to score.


Encourage players to press as a unit, working together to force the defenders to play down the line, by the angle of their approach and cutting off the passing lanes back to the goalkeeper, across to the centre-back or into the centre midfielder.

1. Split the area into thirds and set up with three forwards, opposing a goalkeeper, back three and midfield three

2. The forwards begin in the central third, the defence splits across the three thirds. Play starts with the goalkeeper

3. The forwards should aim to force the defence to play down the line by their angle of approach and by cutting off the passing lanes

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