INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Delaying and denying – small-sided game

WHY USE IT

This three-part session works on out-of-possession principles, including delaying the opposition’s attack, denying space through pressure, cover and balance, and moving as units, with the ultimate aims of disrupting build-up play and preventing the opponents from scoring.

SET UP

Mark out an area relative to the age and ability of your players (use a full pitch if playing 11v11), with a goal at each end.

HOW TO PLAY

Set up both teams in your preferred formation (here we have set up 1-4-3-3). Play a normal game but with a focus on the coaching points and principles you have worked on throughout the session.

COACHING POINTS

• Units push up and shift left and right together
• Nearest defender pressures the ball, second defender provides cover, third defender provides balance
• Stay compact when out of possession and force the play wide
• Start pressuring the ball in the middle third. Defence should be ready to drop to protect space in behind if there is no pressure on the ball carrier
• Goalkeeper to remain alert for long balls and through-balls

1. Play a full game if player numbers and space allow

2. Out-of-possession, teams should be ready to drop and protect space in behind

3. Midfield and forwards should maintain distances to not become detached from defence

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